LAFAYETTE, La. (Louisiana State Police) - On February 23, 2017, Investigators from the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations - Special Victims Unit arrested a Lafayette man after they learned that he was in possession of child pornography.
Investigators arrested 28-year-old Stephen Lemoine for charges related to the possession and distribution of images of child pornography.
In January, LSP SVU Detectives and the US Office of Homeland Security (HSI) received a complaint out of Avoyelles Parish in reference to Computer Aided Solicitation of a Minor. During the investigation, SVU Detectives and HSI learned the suspect in the case resided in the city of Lafayette. As the investigation progressed, investigators learned that Lemoine created a Facebook account that portrayed himself to be an adult female. Investigators further learned that Lemoine utilized the fake profile to entice juveniles to send explicit images of themselves.
On Thursday, Louisiana State Police SVU, HSI, and the Lafayette Police Department executed a search warrant at Lemoine’s residence. Lemoine confessed that he enticed children to create illicit videos of themselves and share them online. Lemoine was booked at the Lafayette Parish Jail on charges of Possession and Production of Pornography Involving Juveniles, Computer Aided Solicitation of a Minor, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile. The investigation remains ongoing with additional charges possible. Louisiana State Police Criminal Intelligence Unit, Technical Support Unit, and Troop I also assisted with the arrest.
“This case highlights the important work that law enforcement does to keep our children safe on the internet,” stated Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. “As a parent, I fully understand the dangers that online interactions can pose. Our Troopers will continue to work with partner agencies to find and arrest those who choose to use social media to prey on children.”
“The arrest of this child predator should serve as a warning to parents to closely monitor their children's online activities and electronic devices,” stated Lafayette Chief of Police Tony Aguillard.
The LSP Special Victims Unit, comprised of Troopers who work in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, was created to combat child exploitation and investigate child and adult sex trafficking and labor trafficking across Louisiana. The public plays an integral role in identifying suspects accused of these types of crimes, and is strongly urged to report criminal or suspicious activity.
The Louisiana State Police online reporting system is available to the public through a convenient and secure reporting form that is submitted to the appropriate investigators. Citizens can access the form by visiting http://la-safe.org/ and clicking on the “Suspicious Activity” link.