Tennessee man ‘passed off’ 15-year-old girl to other men in Kentucky, police allege


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Tennessee man was arrested in Owensboro, Ky. on Monday night after police say he was involved in trafficking a 15-year-old girl for sex.

Steven Hargrove mug shot courtesy of Daviess County Jail

According to court documents, Kentucky State Police received a call from a woman who said she was following a vehicle her missing 15-year-old daughter was in into the parking lot of a gas station on KY-54 near Owensboro. Kentucky State Police responded to the scene and removed 40-year-old Steven Hargrove and the 15-year-old girl from the vehicle.

Police said the teen climbed out of her bedroom window and ran away with Hargrove earlier in the day, and she admitted she had been in a sexual relationship with Hargrove for some time. Police said she initially lied to Hargrove about her age, but he continued sexual relations with her after he found out she was a minor.

Police said that over time, the pair met up for sex in various locations throughout Owensboro and Daviess County, and that Hargrove “passed off” the teen to other men for sex in Kentucky and surrounding states. In exchange, police said the girl told them Hargrove gave her gifts, including money, dogs and other items.

Steven Hargrove was charged with promoting human trafficking a victim under 18 years of age.

The Owensboro Times reports a Kentucky State Police official said more charges could be forthcoming and more people could be charged.