Tyler D. Custer, 25, of Stratford. Felony charges filed May 28: Child sexual exploitation, child enticement, causing a child 13-18 to view sexual activity, expose child to harmful material, solicit intimate representation from minor

By Shereen Siewert

A 25-year-old Stratford man accused of sending explicit photos and videos to girls as young as 14 and repeatedly assaulting a teenage girl will be sentenced in February on multiple charges, after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Tyler D. Custer faced 15 felony and six misdemeanor charges in two separate cases filed earlier this year. During a plea hearing Monday, Custer was convicted of six criminal counts and a judge agreed to dismiss the remaining charges, which will be read into the record at sentencing.

The most recent case was filed in May following a months-long investigation, during which the alleged victim told police she had weekly sexual contact with Custer beginning in January 2019, when the girl was 16 years old.

Police say Custer met the girl on Snapchat and sent her multiple photos of his genitals and eventually persuaded the girl to meet. Custer allegedly captured a 54-second video of one of the assaults and sent the video to the girl over social media.

A second victim told police she was 14 years old when Custer began sending her inappropriate Snapchat messages. At one point Custer allegedly threatened to tell the girl’s mother about inappropriate messages the girl had previously received if she didn’t send him nude photos of herself, according to the court documents. The girl said Custer sent multiple photos of his genitals and at least two videos that showed him fondling himself in his truck.

Custer allegedly told the girl he wanted to “show her some things” so that when she eventually had sex with her boyfriend she would “be prepared,” court documents state.

A third alleged victim, a 16-year-old girl, also told police Custer sent her pictures and videos of her genitals and tried to persuade her to send photos back to him, according to the criminal complaint.

Custer now stands convicted of two charges of exposing a child to harmful material, child enticement, causing a child to view a sexual activity and two counts of soliciting an intimate representation from a minor. At a plea hearing Monday, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be completed within 45 days to aid in sentencing.

Judge Strasser will sentence Custer on Feb. 1.