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13-year-old girl killed by Mother’s boyfriend; Authorities file 60 charges against the suspect in Florida

13-year-old girl killed by Mother’s boyfriend; Authorities file 60 charges against the suspect in Florida

Orlando, FL: Stephan Sterns is now facing sixty additional criminal counts related to the untimely death of Madeline “Maddie” Soto, a thirteen-year-old girl.

The charges were filed on Monday by the Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. Jennifer Soto, Soto’s mother, is in a relationship with Sterns.

On February 26th, Madeline vanished from her Kissimmee, Florida residence. Two days after she went missing, the 37-year-old Sterns was arrested by the Kissimmee police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. They named him as a “prime suspect” in her disappearance.

Authorities in Osceola County, Florida, stated on March 1 that search teams were responsible for finding Madeline’s body in a forested area off of Hickory Tree Road, southeast of Orlando.

On the day of her disappearance, Sterns was reportedly the last person to see Madeline alive, according to officials at the time. He faced accusations of sexual battery and possession of materials related to sexual abuse of children.

The camera footage, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s office, captured the Sterns “discarding items in a dumpster at the family’s Kissimmee apartment complex” at 7:35 a.m. on February 26, 2016.

After some time had passed, detectives discovered Madeline’s bag in the trash. Madeline was observed in the car when Sterns returned to the family’s home at about 8:20 a.m., but police suspect she had already died by then.

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State prosecutors filed a total of 60 new charges against Sterns including:

  • 8 counts of Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12
  • 5 counts of Sexual Battery with a Child 12-18 (Familial/Custodial Authority)
  • 7 counts of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
  • 40 counts of Unlawful Possession of Materials Depicting Sexual Performance by a Child Ten or More Images

Investigators from the sheriff’s office discovered “disturbing images when they forensically examined Sterns’ phone” while looking into Madeline’s disappearance

According to the state attorney’s office, Sterns will face these charges at a later date. He may be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

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