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March 14, 2023Owensboro, KY, United StatesChild Exploitation

Kentucky man sentenced to 20 years for producing, distributing child sexual abuse material

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Last week, a federal judge sentenced a Kentucky man to 20 years in prison for producing, distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Nashville investigation.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. of the Kentucky State Police, and HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Rana Saoud, who oversees HSI in Tennessee and Kentucky, made the announcement.

According to court documents, Corey Allen Stephens, 31, used a social media application to chat with others. In the chat, he posted an image of his sexual abuse of a toddler. He boasted that it was “Not the first time I’ve done it.” HSI Chattanooga special agents traced the chat to Stephens’ home, where agents recovered additional evidence of child sexual abuse offenses.

“I appreciate the exceptional work of HSI, KSP and AUSA Sewell in this case,” said Bennett. “Protecting the children of the Western District from predators like the defendant is a top priority of this office. We remain vigilant and will continue to investigate and aggressively prosecute those who seek to sexually exploit our children.”

In addition to the 20-year prison sentence, the judge ordered Stephens to pay $3,000 in restitution to the victim. He also faces a lifetime of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

“The significant sentence imposed on Corey Stephens sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit the most vulnerable members of our society — our children. Stephens will serve 20 years in federal prison for his incomprehensible acts,” stated HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Rana Saoud. “HSI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue predators who traumatize and victimize children and maintain our vigilance to bring them to justice.”

HSI Nashville, HSI Bowling Green, HSI Chattanooga and the Kentucky State Police investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Madison Sewell of the United States Attorney’s Bowling Green Branch Office prosecuted the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI's mission to combat child exploitation @HSI_Nashville.