A Ford Heights man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl and taking a pornographic photo of her that was later posted on Facebook, the Cook County Sheriff's Office said today.

Leroy Stephenson, 24, faces charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault and child pornography. In a hearing today in Markham Court, he was ordered held in lieu of $75,000 bail, according to the sheriff's office.

Investigators learned the girl had been assaulted when her mother told police that a pornographic photo of her daughter had been posted on Facebook.

Stephenson told detectives he and the girl had been in a sexual relationship since last February, when she was 15 and he was 23, the sheriff's office said. He is charged in connection with an assault that took place in December, when the girl was 16, officials said, clarifying earlier information about the girl's age.

The girl told police Stephenson had pursued a relationship with her for about two years, according to the sheriff's office.

Stephenson admitted taking a pornographic photo of the girl with his cell phone last month, the sheriff's office said.

The photo was sent to at least 10 people via text message and was posted on several Facebook pages, according to the sheriff's office.

While Stephenson admitted to taking the photo, investigators do not believe he was the person who texted the photo or posted it on Facebook, sheriff's officials said.

When the girl's family found out about the picture, they asked the Web site to remove it.

The state Department of Children and Family Services is also investigating, according to the sheriff's office.

Stephenson's next court date is Feb. 3 in Markham.

rhaggerty@tribune.com