PROVO — A Provo photographer has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing male teenage models.
Kyle Navarrete, 32, was booked into the Utah County Jail Thursday for investigation of forcible sodomy and four counts of forcible sex abuse.
Navarrete arranged photo shoots with at least four boys, ages 16 and 17, told them they needed to "take underwear photos to get a modeling career," and then would touch the boys' genitalia under the guise of "adjusting" them to look better for the photos, according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
"The way he put it to them was this is what they had to do for their modeling career. But (police) called a number a modeling agencies and they said, 'Absolutely not. We would never take photographs like this,'" said Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King.
Navarrete runs his own photography company called Island Boys Photography. His website include many pictures of male and female models. While the women are clothed, there are many photos of shirtless men or males in their underwear.
King said Navarette has a mobile studio, worked alone, and took out ads online looking for aspiring models and clients.
On Sept. 14, a 17-year-old contacted police saying Navarrete had taken photos of him in his underwear at 101 W. 100 North in Provo. The boy said Navarrete pulled his underwear down to adjust his genitals, according to an affidavit.
"Kyle Navarrete told the victim that he needed to do this to make the photos look good," the report states.
On Nov. 11, a 16-year-old boy contacted police reporting a similar incident. "Kyle Navarrete told the victim that it was fine that he adjusts (him) since he was a photographer," according to the affidavit.
A third man, who said he was 17 when he modeled for Navarrete, made a report on Nov. 13.
"Kyle Navarrete convinced the victim to take off his underwear and cover his genitals with his hands. The victim did this, but later asked Kyle Navarrete to delete the photos. The victim did not know if Kyle Navarrete deleted the photos," according to the report.Comment on this story
A fourth alleged victim, a 17-year-old boy, contacted police on Nov. 29 and said he had posed in the nude and in his underwear for Navarrete. He later engaged in sexual activity at Navarrete's residence, the affidavit states.
King said detectives talked to other local modeling agency employees who said that unless a juvenile is doing a photo shoot to advertise a specific underwear or swimsuit brand, they never take pictures of teens in their underwear just to add to their portfolios. And they never "adjust" the models, King said.
Police said they fear there may be additional victims. Anyone who believes they were victimized is asked to contact police at 801-852-6210.