This week, Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III announced the indictment of 52-year-old Newark resident Steven Hughes. Hughes is charged with 30 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and 30 counts of Dealing in Child Pornography. He was arrested several weeks ago at his second home near Millsboro, Del.
“Child predators in Delaware should be on notice,” Biden stated. “The Delaware Child Predator Task Force will track you down, prosecute you, and put you behind bars.”
This case is the direct result of a proactive child predator investigation initiated by the New Castle County Police Department and conducted jointly with the Delaware Child Predator Task Force, wherein prosecutors and investigators work side-by-side with Delaware State Police and other agencies to do nothing but investigate crimes against children.
The collaborative effort targets, investigates, and prosecutes online sexual predators that may otherwise evade detection.
This week’s indictment alleges that Hughes possessed 18 images of a 6-year-old female exposing her genitalia in sexually explicit poses and numerous other images of toddler-age females forced into sex acts with adult men. Hughes is charged with distributing these images by publishing them online to any interested party, including undercover law enforcement agents involved in the investigation.
If convicted of all charges, Hughes faces a 120-year jail sentence. He is currently being held on $300,000 bail.
Members of the public who have information that might assist with this investigation, including information about physical offenses against children are being urged to contact Detective Jason Wilson of the New Castle County Police Department at (302) 395-8110.
The Delaware Department of Justice in issuing a statement about the indictment reminded the public that an indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the state bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.