Troopers: Sussex Homecoming Photographer Charged With 80 Counts, Inappropriate Photography

Sussex County- The Delaware State Police have arrested a Dover man on multiple counts of Violation of Privacy, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Melissa Jaffe.

Jaffe said the investigation began on September 29, 2018, when the Delaware State Police were made aware of an incident involving the report of inappropriate photography by a hired adult photographer at the Sussex Technical High School Homecoming Dance.

Through further investigations, it was discovered that 34-year-old Elias R. Stephens had been intentionally secretly videotaping, photographing, or filming under females’ clothing for the purpose of viewing their body or undergarments while he was working for an entertainment company and operating a photo booth, according to Jaffe.

Jaffee said that Detectives were able to identify multiple victims spanning throughout the entire State of Delaware. On January 15, 2019, Stephens was indicted on 80 counts of Violation of Privacy (Felony). During the investigation, Stephens, who had relocated to Mississippi,  was taken into custody by the Long Beach Police Department in Mississippi on January 17, 2019.

He was extradited back to Delaware on January 29, 2019, where he was charged with 80 counts of Violation of Privacy and arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 3. He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $160,000.00 secured bond with the following conditions:

Stephens has been issued a no contact for all of the victims. Jaffee said that if he posts bond GPS monitoring and pre-trial supervision will be required. Additionally, he will not be able to possess any device capable of taking pictures or videos.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Troop 4, Detective R. Mears at 302-752-3809. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://delaware.crimestoppersweb.com

Due to the sensitivity of this case, and in consideration of the victims, Troopers will only release limited information regarding the case, according to Jaffe.

 

The District is pleased to have assisted and cooperated with the Delaware State Police during the thorough and diligent investigation, said Dan Shortridge, Public Information Officer for the school. The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, and our school safety officers are present at all school functions for the protection of students and staff. When concerns were brought to the attention of administrators, we acted immediately and informed law enforcement authorities on hand. Counseling services are and have been available to any member of the Sussex Tech community.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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