Fort Polk man accused of sex-related crimes

Zachary Stephens (Source: VPSO)
Zachary Stephens (Source: VPSO)

The following is a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office:

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announces the arrest of  Zachary Stephens, 22, of Fort Polk, on Aug. 14.

The Franklin Police Department of St. Mary Parish contacted the VPSO Criminal Division on Aug. 14, requesting assistance in an investigation into Computer Solicitation of a Minor, Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile, and Attempted Possession of Pornography involving a Juvenile.

Franklin Police Department Investigators advised that the department had conducted an investigation in conjunction with the Louisiana ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force. Investigators indicated that Stephens engaged in inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with a 16-year-old female juvenile via the Internet.

Investigators with the Franklin Police Department did provide active warrants in the matter and requested that VPSO Detectives attempt to locate and arrest Stephens.

Deputies did locate Stephens at his residence in the Pickering area and take him into custody without incident.

Franklin Police Investigators requested that a permission to search be obtained from Stephens regarding his residence.

Stephens did grant the permission to search and Deputies and Detectives did search the residence and take a lap top computer, computer components, electronic storage devices, and cellular telephones into evidence.

Zachary Stephens was arrested and booked into the VPSO jail on three warrants with a total of five charges. Stephens was arrested on two counts of Indecent Behavior with a juvenile, one count of Attempted Possession of Pornography Involving a Juvenile, and two counts of Computer Aided Solicitation of Minors for Sexual Purposes. There was no bond set on the warrants as Stephens will be required to appear before a judge in St. Mary Parish for a bond hearing.

Franklin Police Investigators did travel to Vernon Parish on Aug. 15 and take possession of all evidentiary items. At that time Zachary Stephens was transported back to St. Mary Parish by the Franklin Police Department.