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Two individuals have been charged after police say they solicited money for sexual acts at an area truck stop and led police on a pursuit.

Steven Madden, 52, is charged with a class E felony of promoting prostitution in the third degree, a class E felony of resisting arrest and a class D felony of tampering with a motor vehicle on the first degree.

Stephanie Haper, 34, of Cottage Hills, Illinois, is being charged with a class B misdemeanor of prostitution.

According to a probable cause statement, on Dec. 4, a Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s deputy was called to Love's Travel Center at 11:04 p.m. for a woman contacting truck drivers in the rear parking lot and soliciting money for sexual favors.

The deputy reported he arrived at 11:12 p.m. and found a 2004 Ford Ranger with Alabama license plates in the rear semi-truck parking lot with no lights on. As the deputy made contact with the driver, later identified as Madden, he slowly drove towards the deputy and then rapidly accelerated away from the deputy as he attempted to talk with him.

The deputy reported from his training he knows “pimps” are the male counterpart organizers of prostitution and typically remain in the area of the prostitute while they perform sexual activities with clients.

As the Ranger sped away, the deputy went back to his patrol car and turned on his emergency lights and sirens and started pursuing Madden. The Ranger went out Enterprise Road toward Route Y and then turned left onto Route Y.

As the deputy chased after Madden, they reached speeds up to 70 mph. Near the intersection of Route Y and LaSanta Lane, Madden pulled onto the right side of the road, got out of the car and ran. Madden continued to run from the deputy and after a short foot pursuit was taken into custody.

Madden was placed in handcuffs and they were double locked for safety. At that time, Madden told the deputy he was with a woman named “Ashley” and she had gone to eat inside the Love's Travel Center. A records check on Madden revealed he had a no-bond warrant through the U.S. Marshal Service for a probation violation of escape.

It was also discovered the Pike County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi had a stolen vehicle report on the truck Madden was driving. The deputy called for other officers to help assist in finding the woman, later identified as Haper, who was at the travel center.

Three other deputies showed up and created a roadblock at the entrance/exit of the semi-truck parking lot. They then made contact with the truck drivers in search of Haper. After an hour, one of the deputies found her in a semi-truck and she claimed to be with Madden.

Haper was found in a Freightliner semi-truck with a man who said he paid her $32 for a sexual act The money was taken as evidence and the man was released at the scene due to his cooperation. It was noted in the report that the department may apply for a warrant at a later time against the man.

Haper was taken into custody at 1 a.m. and both her and Madden were taken to the Ste. Genevieve County Jail.

The next afternoon, Haper was questioned about the incident the night before and she admitted that she was paid for the sex act. She said she had knocked on the man’s truck and solicited the act. Madden was also interviewed but he refused to discuss the reason he was parked in the semi-truck parking lot.

Madden is being held in the Ste. Genevieve County Jail on a $50,000 bond and a no-bond warrant from the U.S. Marshal Service. Haper was released from her 24-hour hold and was later served with a criminal summons. She failed to appear and is now wanted on warrant with a $500 cash-only bond.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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