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Hampton man charged over child pornography

BRENTWOOD — A 21-year-old Hampton man has been indicted on charges that he manufactured child pornography and posted the material on YouTube, according to prosecutors.

Robert Stephens, who is being held at the Rockingham County Jail, was indicted on two counts of manufacture of child sexual abuse images and two counts of distribution of child sexual abuse images.

Hampton police began investigating Stephens on Jan. 19 after a Newbury, Mass., school resource officer told them that a female student complained she found a video of herself online, according to a police affidavit.

Police say the video clip was posted on YouTube, and showed two underage teens engaging in sexual acts.

Investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force were able to link Stephens to the YouTube account that had control of the video, a police affidavit says.

Stephens — who was 19 at the time — allegedly met a 14-year-old Massachusetts girl at a beach in May 2011, and recorded her having sex with a 15-year-old male using a laptop web camera.

He later communicated with the female through Facebook that same month, telling her she should &#';become a prostitute&#'; and could &#';sell herself&#'; for money, the affidavit says.

Stephens also allegedly told the girl through Facebook that &#';he wanted money&#'; and could facilitate more sexual encounters, the police affidavit says.

&#';He stated he would &#';set it up&#'; so that she could have sex for money,&#'; said Hampton Det. Chris Gilroy in a sworn affidavit. Stephens allegedly told the teenage girl &#';it&#';s not that bad,&#'; police said.

Stephens told investigators that he owned the video during a police interview and said, &#';I know I am going to prison,&#'; according to the affidavit.

Stephens&#'; first attempt to post the video was blocked by YouTube because it typically bans pornography, but he eventually was able to get it online under a private setting only visible to those who followed his account, police said.

Stephens is currently being held at the Rockingham County jail on $100,000 bail.

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James A. Kimble may be reached at JKimble@newstote.com.


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