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Bedford man arrested on child exploitation charges

BEDFORD, Ind. (IUSTV News) – An investigation from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) ended in the arrest of a Bedford, Indiana man on child exploitation charges, according to the Indiana State Police (ISP).

The investigation was opened after a ISP Bloomington detective received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Booking photo for Steven Webb (Lawrence County Sheriff)

Steven Webb, 53, was arrested and charged with five counts of child exploitation depicting a child under 12, a level 5 felony, after police conducted a search warrant at his Bedford home. Webb was also charged with possession of marijuana.

If convicted, Webb could face up to one to six years in prison for each level 5 felony.

The ICAC Task Force is a multi-agency task force that investigates and prosecutes online child sex crimes, according to its website.

In 2023, there were more than 16-thousand cyber tips submitted, up from 14-thousand the year before, according to statistics provided by the task force. In 2019, which was the first year included in the statistics, there were a total of 4-thousand reports.

Anyone with information on exploitation, solicitation, and enticement-type crimes against children are encouraged to submit a tip to NCMEC.