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 who sent explicit photos and videos to girls as young as 14 will spend two years in prison, following a sentencing hearing Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Tyler D. Custer faced 15 felony and six misdemeanor charges in two separate cases filed last year. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Custer was convicted in November of six criminal charges – two counts of exposing a child to harmful material, causing a child to view a sexual activity, child enticement and two counts of soliciting an intimate representation from a minor. Circuit Judge Greg Strasser agreed to dismiss the remaining charges but read those into the record during sentencing, and ordered a presentencing investigation be completed before Monday’s hearing.

The most recent case was filed in May following a months-long investigation, during which the 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 captured a 54-second video of one of the assaults and sent the video to the girl over social media, court records show.

A second victim told police she was 14 years old when Custer began sending her inappropriate Snapchat messages. At one point Custer 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 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 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.

Monday’s sentencing hearing went on for more than two hours before Judge Strasser ordered the prison term, followed by seven years of extended supervision. Custer will also register as a sex offender and will be required to undergo treatment and counseling.