Saturday, December 14, 2002

Police say girl used as sex slave



The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Police in suburban Reynoldsburg say a man brought a 15-year-old South Carolina girl to his apartment in June and had her sign a contract to be his sex slave.

Donald M. Cosstephens, 42, was arrested Thursday and charged with 112 felony counts, including pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering obscenity, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Police said a search warrant for Mr. Cosstephens' apartment said he made her "perform acts on herself that were mildly painful but would not leave any permanent marks or cause excessive bloodletting."

His former girlfriend, Janice Stanton, 46, has been charged with four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. She also had signed a contract with Mr. Cosstephens, police said. Ms. Stanton had not been arrested as of early Friday.

The search warrant said Mr.Cosstephens found the girl in Greenwood, S.C., through an Internet chat room.

He and Ms. Stanton picked the girl up at her home on June 1. She told her mother she was going on vacation with a school friend and her parents. Mr. Cosstephens and Ms. Stanton returned the girl to her home on June 29, according to the warrant.

The girl's mother found files about the relationship on the family's computer later and called Greenwood police.



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