Police: Michigan man sought sexually explicit material from Dearborn teen

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A western Michigan man has been charged in connection with soliciting a Dearborn teen to send sexually explicit material to him online, police announced Friday.

On April 10, the Dearborn Police Department received a complaint that a man from the Grand Rapids area had sought the images from a 14-year-old through social media. In the interaction, the youth self-identified as autistic, police said in a statement.

Mason Kuiper

Following an investigation, police identified the suspect as Mason Kuiper of Zeeland, in Ottawa County. Officers executed a search warrant on Kuiper's home, seizing his devices and taking him into custody with support from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.

"Parents must remain vigilant when it comes to monitoring their children’s social media usage," Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin said. "We will use all available resources to ensure those that prey on innocent children are brought to justice no matter the distance."

Reached by email Friday, Takura Nyamfukudza, the lawyer representing Kuiper, said the case was in the early stages.

"I have not yet seen any discovery and probably won’t for several days at least. So, I cannot speak to the strength of the government’s case," Nyamfukudza wrote, adding that Kuiper "enjoys the full and unwavering support of his family. Also, like we do for all our clients, our firm will provide the most vigorous defense available under the law!"

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office approved charges Friday against Kuiper for five counts each of aggravated possession of child sex abuse material and using a computer/internet to commit a crime.  

He was arraigned Friday through the 19th District Court in Dearborn, records show. Judge Mark Somers set his bond at $200,000.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 6.