A Council Bluffs man is now jailed after he sparked a statewide Amber Alert last month when he was accused of kidnapping his underage girlfriend. Nineteen-year-old Steven Hecker faces charges in connection with his relationship with 14-year-old Jenakaye Lee, of Council Bluffs.

Pottawatamie County Attorney Matt Wilbur says the two disappeared after Hecker learned he would be arrested on three charges related to his relationship with the girl.

Charges include: third-degree sex abuse, telephone dissemination of obscene material to minors and sexual exploitation of a minor. Wilbur says the charges against Hecker are serious. “He could face up to 25 years (in prison) for a total on all three of those charges,” Wilbur says. Hecker and Lee were located by authorities in Sparta, Illinois, several days after they disappeared.

The girl was reunited with her family while Hecker had to be extradited. Wilber says a judge will decide if Hecker is deserving of bond.

Wilber says, “If he gets bonded out, the preliminary hearing date will likely be set sometime in April.”

By Karla James