Surprise man accused of sexual exploitation of minors

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

SURPRISE, Ariz. – A Surprise man was arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Stephen Robert Van De Vanter, 42, was arrested Thursday at a friend’s house after being served with a search warrant.

Police were first called on June 30 by Van De Vanter’s roommate and her son who reportedly found numerous files on the family’s computer that contained explicit photos and video of children who are underage.

A search warrant was issued by Surprise detectives who then seized Van De Vanter’s computer.

Evidence gathered by police from the computer was handed over to a Maricopa County Grand Jury.

Van de Vanter was taken to the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail where he is being held and faces six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.