Live Oak Sex Offender Arrested And Charged With Possessing Child Sex Abuse Images

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Steven Lee Carty (55, Live Oak) with possessing child sex abuse images. If convicted, Carty faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison, a potential life term of supervised release, and payment of restitution to the victims of his offense. Carty has been ordered detained pending trial.

According to the complaint, in July 2023, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) began investigating Carty in response to a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that had been provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The CyberTip indicated that child exploitation material had been uploaded to an account with an electronic service provider. Account information was provided for the user, which was connected to Carty. The IP history for the account that had uploaded the material was traced to Carty. FDLE obtained a state search warrant for that account, and it was determined to contain the file from the CyberTip, along with additional files containing child sex abuse material.

HSI learned that there were additional CyberTips connected to Carty indicating that accounts associated with Carty had uploaded child sex abuse material, including within a chat conversation with another user. 

During their investigation, law enforcement learned that Carty was listed as an offender on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Sexual Offenders and Predators registry following 2005 federal convictions for receiving, distributing, and possessing child sex abuse material.

This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security Investigations. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.

It is another case that was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.     

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