Owensboro, Kentucky – A man hailing from Tennessee found himself in police custody on Monday evening in Owensboro, Kentucky. The authorities arrested him on charges of involvement in the sex trafficking of a 15-year-old girl.
The incident unfolded when a concerned woman contacted the Kentucky State Police, reporting that she had been trailing a vehicle containing her missing 15-year-old daughter. The woman followed the vehicle, which eventually parked at a gas station near Owensboro, situated along KY-54. Acting promptly, the State Police arrived at the scene and safely removed both Steven Hargrove, a 40-year-old man, and the teenage girl from the vehicle. These details were obtained from court documents acquired by WDRB.
According to the documents, the teenager had escaped through her bedroom window earlier that day, absconding with Hargrove. Shockingly, she confessed to having engaged in a sexual relationship with him for a considerable period. Initially, she had deceived Hargrove about her age, but despite discovering her true underage status, he continued to have sexual encounters with her.
The duo had been rendezvousing in various locations across Daviess County and Owensboro to engage in sexual activities. Disturbingly, the police allege that Hargrove would “pass off” the young girl to other men in Kentucky and neighboring states for further exploitation. Furthermore, the girl divulged that Hargrove had been showering her with gifts, including money, dogs, and various other items, as part of their exchange.
Steven Hargrove now faces charges of promoting the human trafficking of a victim under 18 years old.
An official from the Kentucky State Police has hinted at the possibility of additional charges, indicating that more individuals might also find themselves facing legal consequences in this harrowing case.