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Carlton man faces 15 charges for alleged child sexual abuse

Stephan Jeremiah Hansen was arrested by the Carlton County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and using minors to produce pornography.

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CARLTON — A Carlton man is facing 15 felony charges after authorities said he sexually abused children and created pornography using children.

(HANSEN, STEPHAN JEREMIAH - #CA2200503).jpg
Stephan Jeremiah Hansen
Contributed / Carlton County Jail

Stephan Jeremiah Hansen, 28, of Carlton, is alleged to have abused five children. According to charges filed with the Sixth Judicial District Court in Carlton, Hansen faces five counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, five counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of felony use of a minor in sexual performance or pornographic work, all felonies.

During a bail hearing on Friday, July 8, deputy county attorney Jeffrey Boucher asked that the court not grant Hansen pretrial release because of the severity of the alleged crimes.

"These are allegations and alleged criminal activity of the most serious nature," he said.

Boucher added the investigation into Hansen so far has found 99 photos and eight videos of pornographic content with minors. However, the investigation is ongoing, and Boucher said that in subsequent interviews with the children, additional instances have been reported.

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"(Hansen) has admitted to years of sexual abuse," Boucher said.

Hansen poses an elevated risk to the community, Boucher said, and asked that bail be set at $500,000.

While defense attorney Brittani Mayberry and Hansen said he would follow a no-contact order and that he does not have a criminal history, Judge Amy Lukasavitz denied the request for pretrial release and set Hansen's bail at $500,000.

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Due to the significance of the charges against the 16-year-old, a judge said he is still a significant risk to the community.

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation into Hansen began in March after the St. Paul Police Department began looking into a pornographic picture that was taken of a minor in a bathroom stall.

During their investigation, Hansen became a suspect and his phone was seized pursuant to a search warrant.

Child sexual abuse material was found on June 28, and according to the criminal complaint, appeared to be home produced.

On Hansen's phone, officers found pornographic photos and videos that contained multiple children, the criminal complaint said. During their investigation, police were able to identify the children in the images and the locations where the photos and videos were taken.

The officers then spoke to Hansen, who admitted to the sexual abuse and to producing the pornographic content, according to the complaint. The complaint states that when asked, Hansen could not recall how long he abused the children, but said in the range of three to seven years.

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Hansen's next hearing is scheduled for July 18.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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