Harlan Co. man charged with child sexual exploitation offenses

Steven Ryan faces felony charges in the case. (Photo: Harlan County Detention Center)
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BAXTER, Ky. (WKYT) – A Harlan man is behind bars after an undercover investigation by the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch.

26-year-old Steven L. Ryan was arrested on Wednesday at a home in Baxter.

Troopers opened an investigation on Ryan after discovering him communicating and exchanging sexually explicit images with an underage female.

Investigators executed a search warrant Thursday, during which equipment used during Ryan’s alleged communications was seized. That was sent to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination.

Ryan is currently charged with one count of promoting a minor under the age of 16 in a sexual performance, one count of prohibited use of an electronic communication system to procure a minor, and one count of distribution of obscene matter to a minor.

He is now in the Harlan County Detention Center.