Trucker arrested in Willows pleads not guilty to child sex charges
A Minnesota truck driver arrested in Willows this week pleaded not guilty Thursday to sending lewd photographs, including a picture of himself wearing women's underwear, to a 13-year-old Olivehurst girl.
Stephen Edward Kinghorn, 30, was arrested Wednesday on Old Highway 99W by Yuba County sheriff's deputies after a three-month investigation, Undersheriff Jerry Read said.
Kinghorn, 30, was charged with distributing harmful matter to a minor and unlawful contact with a minor, according to the Yuba County District Attorney's Office.
Deputies launched an investigation in early December after the girl admitted "sexting" with Kinghorn and said she'd received graphic photographs of Kinghorn's genitals, Sheriff Steve Durfor said in a statement.
Using the girl's cellphone, detectives began conversing with Kinghorn through text messages.
"He sent more lewd stuff after that," Read said. Kinghorn sent explicit photographs and video of himself, despite being told he was communicating with a 13-year-old girl, the Sheriff's Department said.
Sheriff's deputies found Kinghorn on Wednesday at a trucking company south of Willows in Glenn County and made the arrest.
"His employer gave him up," Read said.
A subsequent search of Kinghorn and his truck turned up additional "key items" of evidence. The Sheriff's Department did not elaborate on the nature of the evidence collected.
Kinghorn was booked into the Yuba County Jail on $120,000 bail and was still in custody Thursday.
Judge Julia L. Scrogin appointed the Yuba County Public Defender's Office to represent Kinghorn.
He is set to appear again Feb. 27 in Yuba County Superior Court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 1.