A Wampum man is wanted on multiple sex-related charges after the district attorney's office says he sent out and received images of child pornography on his cell phone.
A Lawrence County District Attorney's detective late Tuesday afternoon filed 44 counts of child pornography, four counts of disseminating photos of children in sex acts, and eight counts of corruption of minors against Stephen Dayton, 33, of Water Street. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Meanwhile, he is in jail in Butler County on related charges. According to Middlesex Township police, a teen reported that her phone was hacked and that Dayton sent photos of her to her number, unsolicited.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the court of District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright, a Lawrence County adult probation officer on Aug. 24 contacted the district attorney's office saying she had Dayton's cell phone that contained images of child pornography. The probation officer reported that Dayton told her he had images of minor girls on his phone and that he had been soliciting sexual favors and images from them, the paperwork states.
The officer, who viewed the images, reported that the girls in the pictures were between 11 and 14 and were attempting to converse with Dayton, the papers say. Dayton told two investigators that he had images of females on his phone and that the phone was at his address in Wampum, according to the complaint.
Detectives said Dayton told them that he is not allowed to have internet access because of a previous Megan's Law conviction for child pornography, and that he recently got a new phone and uploaded images from his previous phone to the one that the detectives have confiscated, the complaint states.
The detectives executed a search warrant at Dayton's home on Aug. 24 and seized 19 electronic items. The New Castle police department performed a forensic extraction of the equipment and provided that report Sept. 4 to the district attorney's office. The images showed multiple images of child pornography, the paperwork states.
The investigators reported that Dayton had used multiple social media accounts to obtain the pictures of minor females and used photographs of a teenage male to contact the girls, and he used false names to get them to send him pornographic images and videos of them engaging in prohibited acts.
The paperwork notes that Dayton is a registered sex offender as the result of a conviction on Feb. 7, 2014, in Greene County, involving similar circumstances.