FBI to pursue charges against 3 men in child sex case

Date: 2012-03-01

Father among 3 accused of raping adopted kids.

By Kelli Wynn and Nancy Bowman

TROY — The FBI will pursue federal sexual exploitation charges against three men who are accused of raping the adopted children of one of the men.

The FBI also said Wednesday that the adopted father, Kenneth H. Brandt, 39, of Troy was once president of the Foster Parent Association for Miami County.

FBI officials said they have enough evidence to pursue the charges, along with the U.S. Attorney’s office, against, Brandt, Jason M. Zwick, 29, of Beavercreek and Patrick Rieder, 31, of Dayton, according to Tim Ferguson, supervisory senior resident agent at the FBI’s Dayton office.

Brandt is charged with raping his three adopted sons, ages 9, 10 and 12, and prostituting one of the sons to adult males. He also has a 9-year-old adopted daughter.

All four children were from Texas and one adoption was not yet finalized.

In addition to criminal charges, authorities are also examining Brandt’s history as a foster parent.

“It has also been brought to our attention from past experiences with Kenneth that he has been bringing children from Texas to Troy as supposed foster children,” Troy Detective Chris Tilley wrote in the search warrant affidavit. Brandt was arrested Friday.

Officials with the FBI, Troy Police, Beavercreek Police, Dayton Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office — Southern District of Ohio are scheduled to meet today to discuss the case, Ferguson said.

“We will be looking at the process (Brandt) was using to get the children into his custody,” said Ferguson, adding that the FBI has not determined why the children were adopted or removed from Texas.

The FBI learned that Brandt at one point was elected the president of the Foster Parent Association for Miami County. “He was not in that position at the time of his arrest,” Ferguson said.

The arrests were the result of an undercover investigation on Craigslist by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that began in January.

Investigators said their initial contact was with Zwick. According to a police report, Zwick told an undercover detective, who was posing as the father of two boys, that he had just met a man who had allowed him to have a sexual encounter with his juvenile son.

Zwick then introduced the detective, via the Internet, to Rieder who also said he had a sex with the boy. The detective was eventually introduced to Brandt and a meeting was scheduled for Sunday, according to the report.

Authorities were able to track down and arrest Brandt on Friday, two days before the meeting. Brandt, who is being held in Miami County Jail on an $800,000 bond, is charged with three counts of rape and one count of felonious compelling prostitution.

Troy Police seized four laptops, a cellphone, iPod, printer, a flash drive, account ledgers, two wooden paddles and a video camera from Brandt’s home, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Zwick, of 3620 Sequoia Drive in Beavercreek and Rieder, of 406 E. Sixth St. in Dayton, are charged with raping one of Brandt’s sons.

Zwick was arrested during a traffic stop in Beavercreek on Tuesday. He was arraigned in Miami County Municipal Court Wednesday and his bond was set at $500,000. A preliminary hearing has been set for 1 p.m. on March 7.

Rieder is being held in the Montgomery County Jail without bond. On Wednesday, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office approved four counts of rape against Rieder, who was employed at the Dayton Grand Hotel, formerly the Doubletree Hotel, in Dayton at the time of his Monday arrest. Rieder is accused of raping Brandt’s son at Rieder’s apartment in January, according to Dayton Police Sgt. Larry Tolpin.

“We did retrieve some potential evidence from his apartment,” Tolpin said.

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