Feds: Man lured boy, 14, with 'cleaning job,' pills before alleged sexual abuse

James David Dickson and Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Detroit — Federal officials charged a Detroit man this week with producing, receiving and possessing child pornography over more than 15 years, allegedly targeting as many as seven victims on social media and in person. 

Investigators allege Wade Streeter, 49, was involved with youths at his home and tugboat, according to an affidavit filed Monday in U.S. District Court. 

The investigation into Streeter began in 2018, when the FBI interviewed a person who recounted alleged interactions with Streeter "which began on or about 2009," when the victim was a minor, the filing said.

The document details at least one alleged encounter at the suspect's home in Detroit in 2011.

After the minor turned 14 years old, Streeter offered him money to clean up Steeter's basement at his Detroit residence, federal agents said. After arriving at the house, Streeter allegedly offered the minor an alcoholic drink. The minor then followed Streeter to the second floor TV room and had the minor sit on the couch with him to watch a movie "about boats."

Streeter allegedly then gave the minor two pills, telling him "they would help him relax," according to the affidavit. The movie was switched to a pornographic one involving a man and woman engaged in sexual acts, the filing said. Streeter allegedly started to rub the minor's stomach under his shirt.

During the interview, the person reporting the alleged abuse in 2011 told federal agents that he started feeling dizzy and light-headed, at which point Streeter allegedly reached into the minor's pants and began touching his genitals. He awoke the next morning, wearing an undershirt and boxers and was "in the bedroom of Streeter," agents said in the filing.

When he awoke, the minor said he heard a shutter sound, "which he described as being the sound of an iPhone makes when a photograph is taken."

On the drive back to the then-young boy's house on a Sunday morning, the suspect allegedly gave him eight to 10 pills similar to the pills provided on Friday and instructed him "not to tell his parents about the pills," the minor told the federal agents.

Eventually, the victim told authorities, he "realized he had an addiction problem," and began therapy. Streeter took him, he said, to at least one therapy session, allegedly telling the victim to avoid discussion of the earlier molestation incident.

Federal agents cited a Feb. 2, 2018, Facebook chat, allegedly between the victim and Streeter, during which the suspect "apologizes multiple times" after being confronted with the molestation by the minor and said that he "can't change the past," but could "learn from it."

During this chat, Streeter allegedly admitted to having "photographs" of the victim, but said he deleted them.

"Between (Halloween 2018) and the end of August 2019," according to the complaint, "the FBI conducted numerous additional interviews, learning that Streeter had sexually abused or engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a number of minor boys ... both at home and on his tugboat."

That investigation allegedly yielded seven victims, the agents said, "including one then 13-year-old autistic boy that Streeter engaged in sexually explicit conversations with in 2019."

On Aug. 28, agents executed search warrants at the suspect's Detroit home and on his tugboat. During the search, the suspect allegedly told the FBI that they would find electronic devices in his bedroom. Streeter allegedly admitted to having engaged in sexual conversation with minors via Facebook, and that he "had masturbated in the presence of a minor while watching pornography with him."

The devices seized, along with two external hard drives had a number of images of "young males with their genitals exposed and/or engaged in sexual acts ..." ranging from 2003 to 2019, including "six unique images" of known minors verified by the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children as well as federal authorities, according to the court filing.

Investigators also found images of minors in Michigan "with their shirts off and images zoomed in on their crotch with their pants or shorts on," including a picture taken in 2004 showing a 14-year-old boy at Streeter's Detroit home.

Streeter briefly appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit before Magistrate Judge David R. Grand. 

Based on the government's request, Grand ordered him temporarily detained. A detention hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.

An attorney listed in court records as representing Streeter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.