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Provo photographer arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse of teen models

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PROVO — A Provo man was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse of four underage models while photographing them in their underwear.

Kyle Navarrete, 32, of Provo, was booked into the Utah County Jail in connection with four counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, and forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, according to jail records.

Provo police received a report in September from a 17-year-old boy who said Navarette had taken photos of him in his underwear in late August. Navarrete had convinced the boy that he needed underwear photos to have a successful modeling career, according to a jail report.

Navarrete told the boy to touch his own genitals before taking the photo, then touched and adjusted the boy’s genitals, according to the jail report. The photographer allegedly told the boy he needed to do this to make the pictures look better.

In November, Provo police received two more reports from teen boys who said Navarrete did the same to them. Navarrete did not ask the boys beforehand if he could touch their genitals and told them it was OK for him to do so because he was a photographer, according to the jail report.

Navarrete asked one of the victims to pose naked with his hands over his genitals. The boy complied but later asked Navarrete to delete the photos, but was unsure if they were deleted.

A fourth victim also told police in November that he modeled nude and in his underwear for Navarrete, who told the victim that if he told anyone, Navarrete would be in trouble. The victim told police he also went to Navarrete’s home where Navarrete performed oral sex on the victim and told him to touch Navarrete’s genitals, according to jail records.

Navarrete has his own photography business called Island Boys Photography. His social media pages have pictures of men and women models, as well as some models in their underwear.

Police contacted three different modeling agencies who said it is not common practice for minors to take underwear photos unless they are fulfilling a specific ad. The modeling agencies also informed police that models are not commonly asked to touch their genitals before a photoshoot, and photographers do not touch models' genitals.

Police arrested Navarrete in Salt Lake City and performed several searches on Navarrete’s home and car. Electronic devices were recovered for images of the victims and are being processed, the jail report stated.

Navarrete has no other criminal history in the state of Utah.


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