PROVO, Utah — A Salt Lake City-based photographer has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing four male teen models during modeling sessions.
Kyle Navarette, 32, is charged with one first-degree felony count of forcible sodomy and four second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse.
The Provo Police Department started investigating because three of the victims said the abuse happened in Utah County. The fourth teen said he was sexually assaulted at Navarette’s home in Salt Lake City.
Navarette used social media sites like Twitter and Instagram to look for models for his photography company called IslandBoys Photos.
Police say two of the teens were asked to model nude and all of them were asked to pose in their underwear. The alleged victims said Navarrete said he needed to touch or adjust their genitals to make the photos look good.
“During this process there was some inappropriate touching on the outside as well as the inside of the underclothes,” said Sgt. Nisha King, Provo Police Department.
Police arrested Navarrete at his Salt Lake City home on Thursday. They also seized his electronic devices to find photos of the alleged victims and to see if more people were victimized.
“If there are people with inappropriate contact with Mr. Navarrete in other cities, they need to contact their local law enforcement agency and need to report what occurred,” added King.
Provo detectives also contacted other modeling agencies to see if it was common to take pictures of teens in their underwear for their portfolios.
“They said it is absolutely not standard to have juveniles photographed in their underclothes," King said.
King urged parents of children who want to model to attend the photo shoots and check beforehand about what types of photos will be taken.
Earlier this year, Navarrette posted a tweet about his frustration of being a photographer in Utah: “Everyone in Utah thinks they’re all models. When you give them an opportunity they wus out. Take me back to that real world!!! I hate it here.”
If convicted, Navarette could face five-years-to-life in prison on the forcible sodomy charge and one-to-five years on each of the four forcible sex abuse charges.