WICHITA FALLS (KDFX/KJTL) — An 18-year-old man is facing felony charges after police said he met with a teenage girl on more than one occasion to have sex, which he paid for by giving her a vape pen each time.
Steven Joseph Gould, 18, was arrested on Thursday, April 7 on charges of sexual assault for engaging in sexual relations with a person younger than 17 years of age.
According to the arrest affidavit, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to a residence in the 2900 block of Cunningham Drive on December 27, 2021, for a welfare check.
Police said they made contact with a 14-year-old female who was suicidal after her mother discovered inappropriate content on her phone.
Officers said they were shown Instagram messages between the victim and what they believed to be an 18-year-old male.
During a forensic interview, the victim told them she had agreed to have sexual intercourse with Gould in exchange for a vape pen.
Police said they later learned Gould sells vape pens and that the victim met Gould on the social media app Instagram.
According to the affidavit, the victim told authorities on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2021, Gould came to her residence on Gayle Avenue and parked a few houses down. She described the act of having sexual intercourse with Gould in his vehicle before being given a vape pen.
The affidavit said the victim told authorities she was unaware of Gould’s age at the time.
Police said they interviewed Gould on a later date, where he admitted to meeting the victim on Instagram, as well as having sex with her on two occasions, once in October or November of 2021 and once on Christmas Eve as described by the victim.
According to the affidavit, Gould also admitted to knowing the victim was 14 years of age, and that it was okay that he had sex with her because “she didn’t say no”.
Police said Gould also admitted to giving the victim vape pens as payment on both occasions.
Gould is currently being held in Wichita County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
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