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Berea College professor, 2 others face child porn-related charges

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Posted at 2:23 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 14:28:52-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Berea College associate professor was arrested Tuesday by the Kentucky State Police Electric Crime Branch on charges related to child sexual abuse material.

Dr. Stephen Pulsford, 61, was arrested at about 7:15 p.m. Two other men, Joshua M. Hensley, 30; and Bradeley S. Helton, 32, were also charged with related offenses Tuesday.

The arrests of the three men were a result of undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigations. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigations after discovering the suspects promoting the sexual performance of a minor, or sharing images of child sexual exploitation online.

The investigations resulted in the execution of search warrants at three homes in Berea on Tuesday. Equipment used in the crimes was taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination. The investigations are ongoing.

Hensley is charged with one count of possession of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance, a Class-D felony, punishable by one to five years in prison.

Helton is charged with one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance, a Class-C felony, punishable by five to 10 years in prison.

Pulsford is charged with one count of distribution of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance, a Class-D felony punishable by one to five years in prison.

Berea College issued the following statement on Pulsford’s arrest:

Berea College officials have been informed of the arrest of Dr. Stephen Pulsford last evening by the Kentucky State Police on a felony charge of distribution of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance. Dr. Pulsford has been serving as an associate professor at Berea College. The College is shocked at this news and completely unaware of the circumstances leading to Dr. Pulsford’s arrest. The College has not been contacted by Dr. Pulsford or the Kentucky State Police. At present, College officials continue to monitor the situation and will not comment further at this time.

The Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is comprised of more than 26 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the United States Department of Justice and administrated by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations.