Abbotsford man commended for helping to capture online predator

The photo of the man communicating online with his stepdaughter on the living-room computer grabbed Robert Kleisinger’s attention.

Robert Kleisinger received a police commendation on Tuesday for his role in an online investigation that ultimately put a predator behind bars.

Robert Kleisinger received a police commendation on Tuesday for his role in an online investigation that ultimately put a predator behind bars.

The photo of the man communicating online with his stepdaughter on the living-room computer grabbed Robert Kleisinger’s attention.

The bearded redhead appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s. Kleisinger’s stepdaughter was only 15.

When he and his wife questioned the girl about how she knew the man, she became defensive and evasive.

The next day, Kleisinger set up a computer monitoring program – what some would call “spyware,” a term he abhors – to keep track of the online conversations his stepdaughter was having.

The result was a police investigation, the laying of charges and the sentencing in April of Jason (Booda) Reise, 35, for sexual interference and communicating via a computer to lure a child under 16.

Kleisinger received a commendation Tuesday during the monthly Abbotsford Police Board meeting for his role in the investigation that led to Reise’s guilty plea and deportation to the United States, where he was wanted for parole violations.

“It’s nice to be recognized for the hard work, but I did what any parent should do, and I don’t know if I really deserve an award for it,” he said.

Kleisinger said the charges and sentencing would not have proceeded if it wasn’t for the work of Abbotsford Police Det. Kevin Murray, who was a constable at the time of the investigation.

Kleisinger discovered his hunches about his stepdaughter’s new online friend were  correct as soon as he read the first set of chat logs in 2009.

“There was something seriously wrong when a 35-year-old was professing his love for a teenage girl.”

Kleisinger went to police with his discovery, and Murray was assigned to the case.

As months passed and Kleisinger continued to monitor the conversations, a picture emerged of an adult man who was grooming a young girl for a sexual relationship.

Reise and the girl not only communicated online, but often met in person. He bought her gifts, such as a bicycle and an iPod, while promising other presents, including a puppy, a cruise when she turned 16, a cellphone and concert tickets.

Kleisinger, a heavy-duty equipment operator, also uncovered details about Reise’s past. Although he had no prior sex-related convictions, Reise had a long criminal history for property crimes, theft and other offences in Canada and the U.S.

The online conversations became more suggestive and police had enough for an arrest and charges in October 2009. In addition to the two offences to which Reise pleaded guilty, he was charged with administering a drug to commit an offence and sexual assault. Those charges were later stayed.

Reise was released on bail, and Kleisinger continued to keep tabs on him,  reporting his findings to Murray.

Kleisinger discovered that Reise breached his conditions within an hour of leaving the courthouse by posting Facebook messages about Kleisinger’s stepdaughter, saying she was responsible for his arrest.

He was arrested and released on bail a second time, with stricter conditions, including to not use a computer. Instead, Reise used his cellphone to post online messages.

Kleisinger then posed online as a teen girl, and made arrangements to meet Reise at a certain location.

Police were waiting for him when he arrived, and he was again arrested. This time, he was refused bail.

Reise was scheduled to go to trial on the charges, but issued his guilty plea in April of this year and was sentenced to one year in prison. He was given double credit for the six months he had already served, and was released two days later.

Canada Border Service agents were waiting for him and drove him across the border, where he was arrested by U.S. marshals for parole violations in Pennsylvania.

Kleisinger said he was ecstatic to know that Reise would remain in prison.

He credits his stepdaughter for having the courage to speak with police and agree to testify at the trial if it had gone ahead.

He said she is doing well.

Kleisinger still keeps a folder on his computer desktop of all the information he gathered during the investigation.

“Every once in a while, I look at that file folder, and just shake my head: Did that really happen?”