As distraught parents and teen victims watched on Zoom and in a courtroom, former Plainville youth swim team volunteer Kyle Fasold admitted Thursday to secretly recording young girls undressing then posting the videos to the dark web.
Fasold, 52, pleaded guilty to producing and distributing child pornography, charges that could send him to prison for up to 50 years.
Fasold, grievously disabled by several suicide attempts in federal detention centers, was wheeled into federal court in Hartford on a gurney Thursday afternoon so he could change his original plea.
Speaking softly, Fasold answered "yes" as Judge Michael Shea asked whether he admitted secretly taking more than 2,000 photos and 163 videos of naked and partly naked girls and women in the locker room at Plainville High School and in the bathroom of his home.
When he was arrested in March of 2020, Fasold pleaded not guilty to all charges in what has turned out to be Plainville's most wrenching child pornography case.
But with the offer of a plea agreement that dropped a third charge, Fasold pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court to the distribution and production counts.
He will face a minimum 15 years in prison, but could be hit with a 50-year sentence and up to $250,000 in fines. Shea scheduled sentencing for Dec. 22.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Gifford said that over the course of two and a half years, Fasold had recorded or tried to record 34 minors and 14 adults. He admitted distributing some of the images through the Onion router, a system designed to mask participants' identity.
"Is it correct that you placed video recording devices in your bathroom in your home and the girls locker room at Plainville High School?," Shea asked.
"Yes, your honor," Fasold replied.
"Is it correct that you edited portions of these videos to create 390 image depicting either genitals or pubic areas?," Shea asked. "And you distributed 14 on the Onion router?"
"It is, your honor," Fasold said.
Fasold confessed to using a tablet, iPhones, and iPad and other devices, and recording teenage and preteen girls in the locker room at Plainville High School, where the Blue Dolphins team changed in and out of swimsuits for practices in the pool.
He also used a spycam to record girls using the bathroom of his former home on Northwest Drive, where he hosted swim team fundraisers, prosecutors said.
Gifford said some victims or their families will make statements at Fasold's sentencing, but none spoke Thursday. More than 15 people watched in court, and more than 30 others followed the proceeding on Zoom.
The young victims and their families have struggled to keep their privacy during the long-running criminal case, mostly observing court proceedings remotely.
At least six have sued for damages, in each case using aliases such as Jane Roe and Jane Doe to shield their identities. The lawsuits contend the girls have endured humiliation, emotional trauma, embarrassment and in some cases "permanent psychological scarring."
Numerous suits also cite the town and the Blue Dolphins Parents Association as defendants, contending they should have known Fasold was a threat and acted to protect the girls.
At Fasold's arraignment just a few days after his arrest, dozens of the victims' parents and other relatives crowded into a federal courtroom.
At the time, several adults in the courtroom gasped when the prosecutor said Fasold, a former vice president of the Blue Dolphins parents association, had posted photos online along with descriptions of how he wanted to molest young girls, including relatives.
Fasold was a sales manager with Molnlycke, a medical products manufacturer, and was known as a family man and community volunteer. He has been in federal custody since his arrest, and his wife has divorced him.
Fasold sustained severe back and neck injuries when he leapt from a second-floor walkway at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island, and is now a paraplegic, according to court documents. He also tried to hang himself and to overdose on medication, the documents say.
The injuries have led to numerous surgeries, and Fasold repeatedly has been transferred between a medical facility in South Carolina and the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, during the past year.