CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte man lured a 14-year-old girl to a hotel room by promise of alcohol, then proceeded to engage in sexual acts, including photographing the nude minor, police say.

Saturday night, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police responded to La Casa Hotel in the 7900 block of Nations Ford Road on a report that a 14-year-old had been raped by an adult male.

Police say 40-year-old Stephen Lamont Ward met the girl at ImaginOn, a children's entertainment venue, and lured her back to La Casa Hotel with the promise of alcoholic beverages.

The victim reported to detectives that Ward had taken nude photos of her, and engaged in sexual activity with her. During the course of the sexual activity, the victim told authorities her mother began to call, prompting Ward to drop her off on the street nearby her home.

Investigators searched Ward's home, and recovered a camera and laptop. During his interview with detectives, police say Ward admitted to taking 15 nude photographs of the girl and transferring them to his laptop, but says he deleted them following a confrontation with the victim's mother.

Ward also admitted to having taken nude photographs of several other female victims, which he said were either stored on flash drives or on his laptop.

Ward is charged with two counts each of indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape. He was booked in to the Mecklenburg County Jail on bonds totaling $150,000.

Read or Share this story: