A 15-year-old Logan County resident who had been reported missing was found in Wisconsin in the company of a registered sex offender, according to police.
The investigation began Nov. 28 when the Logan County Sheriff’s Department received a report about the missing juvenile and met with her parents in Auburn. Deputies spoke with the girl’s mother, who said her daughter was not home when she and her husband arrived, according to the sheriff’s office.
The child’s father had information that the daughter might be traveling with Steven Stathas, 30, to his residence in West Bend, Wis.
The sheriff’s office provided the information to police in West Bend, who stopped a vehicle Monday driven by Stathas and carrying the juvenile, according to the West Bend Police Department.
West Bend police said officers there learned the 15-year-old had voluntarily traveled with Stathas from Kentucky and that Stathas had traveled to Kentucky multiple times in October and November to visit and engage in a sexual relationship with the juvenile.
The 15-year-old was transported back to her mother, according to the Logan County Sheriff’s Department.
Stathas was convicted in 2009 on a charge of sex with a child age 16 or greater and in 2010 of child enticement in Wisconsin, according to information on the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry.
He is required to register as a sex offender there until 2036.
Police in Wisconsin charged Stathas with using a computer to facilitate child sex crimes.
He was placed in the Washington County (Wis.) Detention Center and awaits extradition to Kentucky, where he will face charges of kidnapping (minor), first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, third-degree rape, third-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse, according to the Logan County Sheriff’s Department.