Rantoul couple accused of sexually molesting preteen girl in home

Rantoul couple accused of sexually molesting preteen girl in home

RANTOUL — A Rantoul man and his wife have been arrested for allegedly sexually molesting a young girl who was a visitor in their home about two months ago.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Joshua Stephen, 30, and Shelby Stephen, 21, who listed an address in the 600 block of Autumn Fields, are expected to appear in bond court Saturday following their arrests Thursday.

Rietz said her office will decide by Monday what charges will be filed against them.

Rantoul police Sgt. Justin Bouse said a girl under 13 who lives in another county had been visiting them in their home over her Christmas break.

Around Jan. 12, when the girl was back at home, Bouse said, her mother contacted Rantoul police to say that she had discovered text messages on her daughter's phone that suggested some physical relationship had taken place between her daughter and Joshua Stephen.

Bouse said police conducted a forensic interview of the girl in her home county, during which she revealed that she had engaged in sex with him while in Rantoul.

Bouse said police asked Joshua Stephen to come to the Rantoul Police Department on Thursday for an interview.

"He confesses to a sexual relationship with the victim and during the confession implicates his wife, Shelby, as participating in this physical sexual assault," Bouse said.

Police also interviewed Shelby Stephen, who had driven her husband to the police station, and she also admitted taking part in contact with the girl, Bouse said.

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