A Tell City man was charged with soliciting sexual images from minors Wednesday after a year-long investigation by the Daviess County Sheriff's Department.

Alan R. Payne, 30, of Tell City was charged with eight counts of use of a minor in a sexual performance, which is defined as using or inducing a minor to engage in a sexual performance, such as sending nude images. The charges faced by Payne are class B felonies because the minors involved were under 16 years old.

Detective Brad Youngman, with the sheriff's department, said the investigation began last summer as a harassment case when a juvenile reported she was receiving messages from a person who claimed to be a juvenile.

Youngman said Payne, who then lived on Booth Avenue in Owensboro, was developed as a suspect. A search warrant was served at the Booth Avenue home although Payne's residence had changed to Tell City.

Electronic devices were taken from the home were examined by Special Deputy Cheryl Purdy, who found more than 200 images of juveniles in nude poses, Youngman said.

"We worked for several months to identify the females in those images," Youngman said. "We were able to identify some of the girls and interview them."

Youngman said Payne's method "was to act like a young kid, build up trust and try to get (nude) photos.

"He wanted pre-teen type girls," Youngman said.

The sheriff's department is still working to identify other juveniles in the images.

"These cases are complex because of all the computer forensics," Youngman said. "You don't know the origins of where the photos came from ... We were glad we were able to bring this one to charges."

Payne was arrested Wednesday by the Indiana State Police in Tell City and will be extradited to Owensboro.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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