A former Scranton resident, following a three-year investigation, has been sentenced to prison as a result of physically harming his toddler in addition to inciting sexual abuse of a minor.
Kage Gordon, who now lists his residence in New Jersey, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday, Oct. 24 after pleading guilty to child endangerment, willful injury, and conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony from an array of incidents between 2019 and 2021.
Gordon, 26, and his wife Victoria Gordon, first arrived on local law enforcement radar when they were living in Scranton in May 2019. Their infant son, who was six weeks old at the time, suffered a spiral fracture to his right arm and a brain bleed while under Kage’s care. The infant was transported to the Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, and after being analyzed by doctors, concerns for the child’s safety were brought forth.
Court documents say doctors told authorities a spiral fracture can only occur from a twisting motion, which a baby of just six-weeks old, lacking free range of motion, was too young to obtain on their own or even via an accident. Initially, court documents say, both Kage and his wife, Victoria, claim their child fell out of Victoria’s hands when she was attempting to put him in a swing, telling officers he fell one foot to the floor, hitting his arm on the swing.
Kage also shared a different variation of what happened to his son, telling officers their child suffered the arm injury because doctors at the McFarland Clinic “handled him roughly” when examining his arm, according to court documents. In all, law enforcement officers said Kage and Victoria provided at “least three different stories” as to how their son broke his arm, with Kage also stating their son got his arm twisted in the couch.
Due to their differing stories and the severity of the child’s injury, Blank Children’s hospital informed the parents they were taking their child into protective custody on June 2, 2019, according to court documents. A search warrant was later obtained and executed by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, hoping to dig through the couple’s cell phone records, though neither Kage nor Victoria were charged criminally in 2019, despite their son’s injuries.
“We were suspicious, that’s all we had,” Greene County attorney Thomas Laehn said in reference to the initial 2019 case. “There was no concrete evidence that (the broken arm) was intentional.”
As the years passed, it became clearer to law enforcement that Kage was the aggressor and was putting his son in harm’s way.
AUTHORITIES BEGIN INVESTIGATING KAGE
Victoria went on official record few years later, on Sept. 22, 2021, accusing Kage of physically harming their infant son on several different occasions, referencing the arm fracture in 2019 as the starting point. Though years did pass, Laehn said the courts never stopped pursuing the source of the child’s pain.
“A kid gets injured and it’s kind of suspicious,” Laehn said.
Victoria worked with officers and told them Kage was quite vocal about his preference to not have a child when she informed him she was pregnant in 2018. She said Kage became more outspoken and aggressive when the child was born in the spring of 2019. Victoria said Kage was home alone with their son the day he broke his arm in May of that year. She returned to find their baby “screaming in pain,” which led her to take him to St. Anthony’s Regional Hospital in Carroll, before he was ultimately transported to the children’s hospital in Des Moines.
“The case never really went cold, it was still being investigated,” Laehn said. “During that period of time (from 2019 to 2021) we were able to obtain evidence and felt comfortable to bring that charge. In this particular case, we didn’t really have sufficient evidence for a charge until significant time had passed.”
Victoria’s mother, who also met with law enforcement when Victoria came forward in 2021, told officers she saw Kage attempt to place his child in a scalding hot bath, before she physically stopped him from doing so. He also purposefully tried to feed the child food that was clearly too hot, in which the baby subsequently spit out and began crying. The child’s grandmother told officers Kage laughed as the baby began crying, which led her to believe he performed both acts intentionally.
The Gordon’s second child was born in late May of 2021, also igniting another cycle of abuse, Victoria said. She told officers their youngest child broke an arm under Kage’s watch as well and was transported to the Blank Children’s Hospital.
These charges came Kage’s way after Victoria was convicted of committing child sexual abuse with her own and a roommate’s children present in the same vicinity of her in the same household, though prosecutors quickly learned their was more to the story, even involving her husband.
SEX ABUSE CLAIMS BROUGHT FORWARD
Kage posed as a potential suitor to an unknowing Victoria in 2021, inciting another string of charges, which also involved the mother. The couple married in 2018 and produced their first baby in the spring of 2019. They had another in 2021.
Court documents revealed Victoria was duped to believe, while living in Jefferson with her parents and no longer in Scranton with Kage, she was creating videos and staged photographs for a person who she met online, operating under the fake name of Vincent Skarnegi. He told Victoria, according to court documents, he lived in Manhattan, proceeding to make obscene requests which involved minors in May 2021. She admitted to never having met Skarnegi in person. Victoria was living with a roommate along with her parents when she began interacting with the man who was eventually revealed to be her estranged husband.
Law enforcement, through an investigation, learned Kage Gordon was operating under the cloak of an alias, pretending to be Skarnegi. Several obscene videos and pictures he requested from Victoria were turned over to the department of human services, who later alerted local law enforcement of the criminal acts.
Court documents say Kage requested a video from Victoria, using his alias, of a child touching Victoria’s exposed genitals, though it was determined said kid was not the Gordon’s. Court documents also say, also per the request of Kage – still using the fake name – she send a picture digitally of herself exposing her breasts while a young child was present in the picture. Additionally, law enforcement obtained video of Victoria committing a solo sexual act while sleeping children were clearly visible in the video, records state, whom officers believe were her kids.
Victoria, 23, was initially charged with second degree sexual abuse, lascivious acts with a child as well as child endangerment in addition to the sexual exploitation charge for filming and photographing a sexual act with minors involved per the request of an online persona, but those charges were dismissed by the court. She was only convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor following the interactions with Kage.
Victoria pled guilty in July of last year admitting to officers that she “willfully induced a minor child to engage in a prohibited sexual act, touching (her genitals) with (the child’s hand)” while she videotaped the “prohibited sexual act” in late spring of 2021.
Court documents suggest, as the Jefferson Herald attempted to piece together timelines of these several different criminal acts, that Victoria was late into her second pregnancy when she committed the alleged sexual crimes. Previous court records say the Gordon’s youngest child was born on May 20, 2021 and Kage was no longer living in Iowa.
Via his clear manipulation tactics, Kage was criminally charged for enticing Victoria to produce the videos and pictures on Oct. 4, 2021. He was arrested on Nov. 19, 2021 for conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, two counts of conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony as well as conspiracy to commit an aggravated misdemeanor. All counts but one charge for conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony were dismissed. The two, aforementioned cases led to Kage’s eventual 10-year prison sentence, handed out on Monday.
Court records reveal the charges of sexual abuse were handed out prior to Victoria officially on record accusing Kage of child endangerment, though the state was still pursuing the father and inching closer to a concrete charge.
AUTHORITIES SIDE WITH MOM
Victoria’s role in the sexual crimes was tricky, as she was also in the thick of cooperating with law enforcement in hopes to expose Kage for his child abuse. In her particular case, prosecutors believed Victoria was not exploiting a minor for her own sexual gain, which helped lessen the charges.
“That crime does not require the state to prove that the defendant had any sexual motive, essentially taking a photo of it or simulation on act, it doesn’t require them to prove there was motive. Most sex crimes do require proof of sexual motive,” Laehn said, noting that there was never any actual evidence of penetration or even enjoyment.
Though prosecutors believed Victoria wasn’t solely at fault, she still committed the act and documented it, which led to her conviction.
Victoria was served a 10-year, suspended sentence on Aug. 31, 2021. She was also sentenced to probation, is now on the sex offender registry and was forced to pay a fine of $1,370.
Prosecutors believed Victoria was sincere in her pursuit of Kage, hoping to help bring him down, which contributed to her lesser sentence. She was provoked by Kage to create the videos and photos while his investigation was ongoing.
“She was manipulated to be a part of this,” Laehn said. “it’s not something she would’ve ever sought out to do on her own.”
Victoria’s willingness to provide evidence and point officers in the right direction was vital to the case, Laehn said. Kage was abusing their children and she wanted it to end.
“Victoria’s cooperation played a big role in the charges,” Laehn said. “When Miss Gordon began cooperating with us, there were other things that emerged that helped build the case.”
Kage was found living in Clinton County, Pennsylvania when he was arrested last fall for child endangerment and for enticing the sexual exploitation of a minor. He was transported back to Greene County, court documents say, where he posted bail 11 days after his arrest on Nov. 30, 2021.
“We knew from our investigation that he was living in Pennsylvania, that was uncovered in the investigation,” Laehn said. “Early on, when we first had communications with (Kage), he wasn’t trying to conceal what he had done, nor was he was trying hide where he was. We knew where he was living.”
Most recently, Kage was arrested again following the deposition and brought to the Greene County Jail on Monday.