Greenville man accused of producing child sexual abuse material

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned an indictment Wednesday charging a Greenville man with the possession, receipt, distribution, and production of child pornography.

According to court documents, Corey Stephens, 29, of Greenville, Ky., possessed, received, distributed and produced child pornography.  According to a previously filed criminal complaint, on May 16, 2021, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Special Agent acting in an undercover capacity encountered an individual on the KIK messenger application who posted an image of child sexual abuse or exploitation to a group.

Using the name Dark Heart on the KIK messenger app, Stephens is accused of being a member of a “toddler appreciation group” and commenting on child sexual abuse material being posted by other users after he posted a photo of a toddler with adult genitalia placed on the toddler’s face, according to the federal criminal complaint against him.

HSI traced the message to Stephens’ Greenville home, and HSI and Kentucky State Police executed a federal search warrant there on May 20, 2021.

A federal investigator was able to determine the identity of the toddler in the photo Stephens is accused of taking and posting online, according to the complaint. Stephens is also accused of telling another user on the app that he wished he had a daughter and made a rape reference to a video posted by someone else in the toddler appreciation group, according to the complaint.

Stephens is charged with four counts:  possessing, receiving, distributing, and producing child pornography. If convicted at trial, Stephens faces not less than 15 years and not more than 90 years in prison for the crimes charged.  There is no parole in the federal system.  The case is next scheduled for arraignment 10 a.m. June 24 before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Harley R. Shuler of the Department of Homeland Security Investigations made the announcement.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Kentucky State Police investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Madison Sewell, Branch Chief of the Bowling Green U.S. Attorney’s Office,  is prosecuting the case.