An Indiana man — and one of the last people to communicate with Delphi murder victim Libby German — was sentenced to more than four decades in prison for catfishing nude images from underage victims around the country.
Kegan Anthony Kline, 29, was sentenced to 43 years in prison on Thursday for using fake social media profiles to solicit underage victims, Indianapolis television station WXIN reported.
RELATED: Delphi Murders Suspect Confessed in Jailhouse Calls “No Less Than Five Times,” Prosecutors Allege in Newly Unsealed Documents
Kline pleaded guilty to a series of 25 charges related to child pornography possession, child exploitation and obstruction of justice. A shackled Kline was escorted by bailiffs from the courtroom in an orange jumpsuit after the judge read his sentence. Judge Timothy P. Spahr awarded him 1,429 days of jail credit.
“It is really important, days like today, being able to provide justice to the innumerable victims that Kegan Kline impacted,” Miami County Deputy Prosecutor Courtney Alwine said following Kline’s sentencing, according to Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR. “It’s some of the most important work that you could do as a prosecutor, and we are immensely proud.”
Prosecutors say Kline used Instagram profiles including “anthony_shots” — which he used to communicate with 14-year-old Libby — as well as “Emily Ann,” to lure victims, many of whom were underage, often in an effort to obtain pornographic images from them.
“This is not a man,” Miami County Deputy Prosecutor Courtney B. Alwine said, Court TV reported. “He is someone who has made children his prey.”
Kline’s conviction last week wasn’t directly related to the Delphi case.
RELATED: Delphi Murders Suspect Made Multiple “Admissions of Guilt” to Killing Two Teens in 2017, Prosecutors Say
On Feb. 13, 2017, Libby and her friend, Abigail Williams, 13, vanished while hiking near an old railroad trestle along the Delphi Historic Trails in Delphi, Indiana. Their bodies were found the following day under a mile away on the northern side of Deer Creek. Officials said the pair died from “wounds caused by a sharp object,” according to Indianapolis radio station WIBC. Prior to vanishing, Libby posted an image of Abby on Snapchat trekking across a bridge.
Authorities later released a portion of a video recording from Libby’s phone, showing a man — whom they suspect is the killer — approaching the two teens around the time of their disappearance. The male suspect in the video appears to say to the two girls, “Guys, down the hill.” The individual in the video has never been formally identified.
In 2022, Richard Allen was arrested and charged with two counts of murder in connection with the girls’ murders. Prosecutors say the CVS worker confessed to the slayings in a series of telephone calls to his wife and mother on public jail pay phones. An unspent .40 caliber casing found near Libby and Abby’s bodies also linked him to the double homicide.
Allen’s trial is set to open in January of 2024.
Kline was never formally named a suspect and he’s long-maintained his innocence in the high-profile murders, but detectives quickly zeroed in on him as a person of interest in the immediate aftermath of the teens’ killings since he was one of the last people to communicate with Libby using his “anthony_shots” account.
RELATED: Lawyers For Accused Delphi Murderer Richard Allen Say He’s In ‘Steep Decline’ In Motion To Move Him To New Jail
After searching his home less than two weeks after the teens’ bodies surfaced, investigators filed more than two dozen unrelated child porn and other exploitation charges against him. Kline was 22 at the time.
The Indiana man later confessed to creating both the “anthony_shots” and “Emily Ann” accounts in order to solicit nude pictures from girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Many of his victims were minors, police said.
Kline, prosecutors said, often lured young girls using his “Emily Ann” account, pretending to be a teen girl himself, asking his victims, “Would you have sex with my dad?” and later redirecting them to his real profile page, People reported.
Kline said he catfished young girls because he was despondent that his dating profile was not getting any attention from adult women, a Miami County probation officer testified at trial, WTHR reported.
He would ultimately go on to hoard upwards of 100 lewd images, many of which belonged to victims under 18, officials said.
Kline, who openly wept as he addressed the court while reading from a prepared statement, said he catfished dozens and dozens of young women because he was lonely.
RELATED: Judge Rules Delphi Murder Trial Will Continue In Carroll County, Gag Order Stays
“I was in a deep state of depression and shut in my house,” Kline stated, per WTHR. “I wish I would have made choices to get a high school diploma and driver’s license. I made fake profiles because of my loneliness.”
Kline also offered a statement of apology to a male victim whose photos Kline had passed off as his own on his Instagram profile, the outlet reported.
“I knew it was wrong,” he added. “I never left the house. I never had any intention of meeting anyone. I take full responsibility. I apologize to everyone, sorry to each and every victim.”