Alva man charged with sexual exploitation of a child


September 10, 2023

An Alva man is facing a charge of sexual exploitation of a child after a woman living with him talked to law enforcement.

Nicholas Gerald Benford, 30, of Alva, has been charged in Woods County with sexual exploitation of a child under 12 and with violation of Oklahoma statute via computer, both felonies. The first charge is punishable by imprisonment for 25 year to life and a fine of $55 to $5,000. The second is punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years, or a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and fine.

On Aug. 29, Alva Police Officer Jayce Cline told DA’s Investigator Steve Tanio he had taken a report from a woman who described Benford as her partner. She said she lived with Benford and his daughter, age 5. She reported seeing sexually explicit images of the child on Benford’s cellphone.

On Aug. 29, Woods County Undersheriff Keith Dale and Officer Cline began patrolling around Alva to locate Benford. At approximately 9:55 p.m., dispatch broadcast a report of a fight in progress in the 500 block of 8th Street. Dale, Cline and other officers responded and observed Benford and other males outside.

Dale detained Benford and questioned him about his daughter. Benford said she was inside a nearby residence with an adult female. Dale went to the residence and located the child in a bedroom where she was lying on the bed looking at a phone later identified as belonging to Benford. Dale took custody of the child and asked Benford if he could take the phone. Benford agreed. Benford was transported to the Sheriff’s Office. The child was released to a DHS worker.

A search warrant was executed on Benford’s home where numerous digital storage devices including computer laptops and other items were seized. Tanio spoke with a DHS worker and the child’s teacher about the child acting out sexually.


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