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More charges filed against Darlington man
Steven Cotter
Steven Cotter

DARLINGTON — A Darlington man charged in February with felonies related to alleged sex with a Monroe teenager now faces 15 additional charges for sexually explicit images of underage girls found on his phone, according to Lafayette County Circuit Court records.

Steven Hartwell Cotter, 23, was charged in February with felony counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement and exposing genitals to a child and a misdemeanor count of sex with a child age 16 or older.

An amended complaint filed in April adds 15 charges to the case, including felony counts of child porn possession and child sexual exploitation.

The new charges are based on dozens of photos found on Cotter’s cellphone of underage girls as young as 14, according to the amended criminal complaint.

But Cotter’s lawyer, Robert Duxstad, is seeking to suppress this new evidence. In a motion filed April 29, he argues police seized Cotter’s phone and its contents during an illegal detention and without a warrant, in violation of Cotter’s constitutional rights. Duxstad is also seeking to suppress any statements given during the detention.

Cotter’s next hearing in the case is a status conference June 24. Cotter is under bond conditions prohibiting contact with a Monroe girl and anyone younger than 18, exchange of photos on social media, possession of firearms and leaving the state except for work in Dubuque, Iowa.