Child porn charges leveled
Police allege that man assaulted boy, created lewd videos, photos
Plano police are investigating a 69-yearold man accused of sexually assaulting an underage boy, creating pornographic videos of him and possessing numerous images of child porn.
Daniel Barry Steffen, who has been in jail since Aug. 31, was indicted last week by a Collin County grand jury on multiple charges.
A teenage boy told police about a binder Steffen showed him that was labeled “Dan’s Favorite Pictures.” The black and blue binder had “lots of pages of pictures” of naked underage boys, the teen told police.
The teen said the photos showed the same bedding that was in Steffen’s Plano home, according to probable cause affidavits filed by police.
It was unclear how many children might be involved or what period of time the investigation covers.
Police declined to answer questions, citing “the circumstances surrounding this case and the sensitive charges associated with it.”
Defense attorney Todd Shapiro said Steffen was facing “very serious allegations,” but he declined to comment further until he learned more about the charges. Police have told Shapiro that the investigation remains open and that more charges are possible.
The teen told police Steffen sometimes kept the binder under his bed but often hid it elsewhere.
A witness told police he was aware that Steffen had been investigated in the past for “being involved in something inappropriate.” During that investigation, the witness said, Steffen gave him a box to hide in his storage shed. The witness said he now believes the box contained something illegal related to that investigation, one affidavit says.
Steffen has never been convicted of a crime, Shapiro confirmed.
Dallas County records show Steffen was arrested by Richardson police in 1994 on suspicion of possessing child pornography. A grand jury declined to indict him.
Steffen is charged in Collin County with two counts of sexual assault of a child, one count of indecency with a child, one count of possession of child pornography, two counts of possession with intent to promote child pornography and one count of employing, inducing or authorizing sexual performance of a child.
He is being held in the Collin County Detention Center in lieu of $340,000 bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 14.
Plano police were initially contacted Aug. 30 by a man who said he had witnessed Steffen’s improper behavior with the 15-year-old boy. Police interviewed the teen, who said he’d known Steffen for several years. According to the affidavit, the teen described multiple sex acts that Steffen asked him to do. Some of them were at Steffen’s home on Covered Wagon Drive, which is north of Schell Park and near Jupiter Road.
Property records show Steffen purchased the home in 1993.
The teen said that he told his mom about some of the incidents but that “she doesn’t believe me,” the affidavit says. The teen also told police Steffen threatened to hurt his family if he told anyone what they did together.
Police recovered text messages between Steffen and the teen that were of a sexual nature, according to the affidavit.
The teen told police Steffen sometimes gave him food or money.
Investigators also learned Steffen had a silver briefcase that he would sometimes ask others to hold for him. Based on a phone call Steffen made from jail, police tracked down the man who had the briefcase. The man gave it to investigators, who obtained a search warrant for the contents.
Police did a forensic examination of a large portion of the digital media found in the briefcase, the affidavit says. They found a silver-colored compact disc labeled “Private Stuff” that contained “a large quantity of nude photos of children.”
Detectives also found three videos that showed the 15-year-old boy engaged in sex acts, the affidavit says. One video included Steffen. Another had what police said was Steffen’s voice as he positioned the camera, the affidavit says.