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Exeter man facing child porn case indicted in assault attempt

BRENTWOOD - A 21-year-old Exeter man charged with manufacturing of child pornography has been indicted on sexual assault charges involving the same victim, prosecutors said.

Robert Stephens has been indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury for attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault and attempted felonious sexual assault. The indictments were made public Friday.

Stephens was already facing charges that he met a 14-year-old Massachusetts girl at a beach in May 2011 and, using a laptop camera, recorded her having sex with a 15-year-old male in Hampton.

The new charges allege Stephens, who was 19 at the time, tried to have sex with the girl before he was pulled away by another person in the room, according to prosecutors.

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

Police found the video clip posted on YouTube, and it 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 was indicted in September on two counts of manufacture of child sexual abuse images and two counts of distribution of child sexual abuse images.

After recording the teenage girl, Stephens continued to contact her, sending her a message through Facebook, police said. In one message he told her she should "become a prostitute" and could "sell herself" for money, the affidavit says. He also allegedly told the girl 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.

During a police interview, Stephens told investigators that he owned the video 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 was able to eventually get it online under a private setting visible only to those who followed his account, police said.

He will be arraigned on the new charges later this month in superior court.

jkimble@newstote.com

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