Harassment complaint prompted case against teen

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

Authorities say a Granite Quarry teen not only posted nude photos of young girls on social media sites, but he also sent a nude picture of himself to a 15-year-old.
Granite Quarry investigators became aware of the sites, which included Instagram, after a harassment complaint was made in October against Peter Thomas Kiever.
The 18-year-old was arrested late Thursday and remains jailed under a $500,000 secured bond. Investigators with the Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority, Landis and Rockwell police departments arrested Kiever at his Stonewyck Drive home in Granite Quarry.
He lives there with his parents, including father Brian Kiever, a Republican candidate for Rowan County sheriff who did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
The charges against Peter Kiever include: five felony counts of disseminating obscene material to a minor, seven felony counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and one felony count of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Kiever made his first appearance in Rowan County District Court Friday. Salisbury attorney Pete Hoffman was appointed to represent him.
Investigators say they linked Peter Kiever to the social media accounts used to post the illicit photos through a computer owned by his father.
In a press release issued Friday by the Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority, investigators say Kiever:
• sent a nude picture to a 15-year-old girl,
• solicited a nude picture of a sexual nature from a 14-year-old girl,
• solicited a nude picture of a sexual nature from a 13-year-old girl,
• sent a nude picture to a 13-year-old girl,
• distributed a nude picture of a sexual nature of a 15-year-old girl to a 15-year-old boy,
• sent a nude picture to a 15-year-old girl,
• solicited a nude picture of a sexual nature from a 14-year-old girl,
• solicited nude pictures of sexual activity from a 15-year-old girl,
• sent a nude picture of himself performing a sexual act to a 15-year-old juvenile,
• solicited a nude picture from a 13-year-old male,
• solicited a nude picture of a sexual nature from a 13-year-old girl,
• sent a nude picture to a 13-year-old girl,
• solicited pictures of a sexual nature from a girl on Instagram.
Search warrants issued in October for the Kiever home and the family’s vehicles pertained to an ongoing investigation regarding allegations of cyberstalking and child pornography. Law enforcement officials said the initial complaint was based on harassment through social media including Twitter, Facebook, Kik, and other sites. Kik is an instant messenger phone application that allows users to exchange texts, videos and other content.
Police received information that Peter Kiever was soliciting nude pictures from juveniles and had them stored on a thumb drive.
Investigator Todd Taylor with the Granite Quarry-Faith Police said Kiever was asking individuals to submit pictures so he could then distribute them to others.
Investigators say those pictures wound up on Instagram.
Taylor said Kiever knew some of those whose pictures were posted to the photo sharing site.
Like Facebook, an Instagram account is public unless the account holder makes it private. Individuals can view pictures and captions posted by the creator. People can follow a profile, comment and “like” the pictures.
Investigators served a search warrant for Peter Kiever’s Facebook account, a fake account he created and other victim accounts. Taylor reviewed more than 18,000 pages of material and data, the release said. Investigators interviewed victims and witnesses.
Landis police received complaints from residents about three Instagram accounts with pictures of nude or semi-nude young girls believed to be from local schools, including one middle school. Some of the girls were shown in bra and underwear while others were unclothed — some from the neck down and some showing the victim’s face.
Those pictures were posted to Instagram accounts on and around Feb. 14, said Landis Police Detective Roger Hosey, but were taken down the same day.
The Instagram accounts were tied to Kiever, a minor and an unknown person. The minor’s name is not being released, but he was also charged.
Hosey said investigators could not obtain enough information to help them determine who created a third account.
Law enforcement agencies elsewhere in the state are investigating similar sites, and some have asked the State Bureau of Investigation for help. Local investigators believe the Rowan County Instagram accounts were “copycats” of similar incidents occurring throughout the state.
Taylor said at least 12 victims’ pictures were posted, some of them taken by the girls.
Peter Kiever has also been charged with felony commercial littering.
Investigators received a complaint about the illegal dumping of 500 or more pounds of construction debris in the area of the Kiever residence. The debris was dumped during the weekend, Taylor said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.