According to an arrest warrant, Madeline Soto was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend for years

Madeline Soto, the 13-year-old whose body was found in Florida days after she disappeared, was allegedly sexually abused for years by her mother’s boyfriend.

Newly released arrest documents issued Monday and viewed by The independent, allege Stephan Sterns, 37, molested the girl when she was 11 years old at the family home in Kissimmee.

Madeline was reported missing on Monday, February 26, a few days after her 13th birthday, when Mr. Sterns said he took her to school but she never showed up for class.

At midday Friday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said he had told Madeline’s mother the night before that he was “confident” her daughter was dead. Her body was found several hours later in a rural area of ​​Osceola County.

Mr Sterns was arrested on Wednesday, February 28, after officers discovered “disturbing” images on his phone.

The data behind these images and videos showed the abuse dated back to August 2022, when the victim was 11 years old, the affidavit said.

While the victim’s name was removed from the warrant, the document also points to the abuse at Mr. Sterns’ address on Santa Maria Drive in Kissimmee, where “the victim, his mother and Stephan live.”

Madeline’s birthday matches that of the victim identified in the document.

The media was discovered despite Mr Sterns saying he accidentally reset his phone to factory settings on the day Madeline disappeared.

He is currently being held on three charges, including two counts of sexual battery under the updated warrant, as well as possession of child sexual abuse material. No charges have yet been filed in Madeline’s death.

On Friday, before Madeline’s body was discovered, Sheriff Mina said officers had compiled evidence that she was dead.

Security camera footage showed Mr. Sterns disposing of items in a dumpster on the day Madeline disappeared. It turned out to be her backpack and her school-issued laptop.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Sterns was seen in a car with Madeline, but Sheriff Mina said he believed the girl was dead at the time.

Kissimmee police are now leading the investigation and are treating the case as a homicide. No further updates were released as of Tuesday afternoon.