A suburban Chicago man faces aggravated criminal sexual assault charges after allegedly photographing himself engaging in a sex act with a 16-year-old girl--and then posting the pictures on Facebook.
Leroy Stephenson, 24, was allegedly involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with the victim since February 2010, when she was 15 years old, according to the Cook County Sheriff's office.
The girl told police that the Ford Heights man "pursued her consistently" over a two year period and worked to convince her into to entering a relationship with an older man. Their relationship eventually became sexual, and Stephenson reportedly took "pornographic" photos of the girl on his cell phone in December of last year.
Police were notified when the girl's mother found the pictures of her juvenile daughter "engaged in a sexual act with an adult male" on Stephenson's Facebook page.
"Investigators believe Stephenson sent the picture from his cell phone to another individual, and at least ten other people received the explicit photo on their phones through text messages," Cook County Sheriff's police said in a statement. "From that point the photo was posted on numerous Facebook pages."
The victim's family asked Facebook to take down all the pictures, and Stephenson confessed to the relationship and taking the photographs.
Stephenson was ordered held in lieu of $75,000 bail Friday, and has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony and child pornography.
The department is reportedly looking into who else posted the photos on Facebook after receiving them.
"The motive for (the photo) spreading seems to be the sickness of people," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "What do you do when the entire town knows this occurred and that you were the person that this was perpetrated on? This is taking a horrific act and multiplying it by 100, because it is widely known who the victim is (and) what the act was."