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Local man charged with sexually grooming a child

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NASHVILLE – A local man was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexually grooming a child.

According to a statement issued by Hempstead County Sheriff James A. Singleton, 67 year old Van Dale Steuart was taken into custody by deputies as the result of an investigation that began March 19, when parents of the alleged victim notified authorities that their nine year old daughter “had been videoed naked and had been shown some pornographic films.”

“Investigators from the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the allegations and presented a probable cause affidavit to Circuit Judge Duncan Culpepper, who signed the affidavit for the arrest of [Mr. Stueart],” Singleton said in the release. “On Wed., March 25, Mr. Stueart and his attorney came tothe Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, where Stueart surrendered himself to Hempstead County investigators who arrested the 67 year old and charged him with sexually grooming a child.”

Steuart has reportedly been released from the Hempstead County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.