Kentucky State Police arrested three Madison County men Tuesday on charges related to sexual abuse material.

The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the three men — Joshua M. Hensley, 30, Bradeley S. Helton, 32, and Stephen Pulsford, 61 — were "promoting the sexual performance of a minor or sharing images of child sexual exploitation online," according to a news release.

As a result of the investigations, search warrants were served at three residences in Berea on Tuesday. Equipment was seized and taken to a forensic laboratory for examination.

Hensley is charged with one count of possession of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance.

In 2013, Hensley was the owner of the home where 18-year-old Brookelyn Farthing, who has been missing since that time, was last seen. 

Helton is charged with one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance.

Pulsford is charged with one count of distribution of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance.

Pulsord is an associate professor of English employed by Berea College.

"The College is shocked at this news and completely unaware of the circumstances leading to Dr. Pulsford’s arrest," according to a statement from the college.

"The College has not been contacted by Dr. Pulsford or the Kentucky State Police. At present, College officials continue to monitor the situation and will not comment further at this time."

The investigations are ongoing, the KSP release notes.

These arrests were the result of undercover Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation. The task force is comprised of more than twenty-six local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the United States Department of Justice and administrated by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations.

Reach Sara Kuhl at 624-6626; follow her on Twitter @saraekuhl.

This article was updated to include more information.

React to this story:


Recommended for you