A print of the famous piercing stare of an Afghani girl caught by local photographer Steve McCurry and made famous on the cover of National Geographic was allegedly stolen and sold by McCurry's former employee, who now faces criminal charges, prosecutors announced.
Bree DeStephano, 32, of York, Pa., was charged Tuesday with theft and related offenses for allegedly stealing and selling prints, books and other items from Steve McCurry, worth a total of more than $650,000, the Chester County D.A.'s Office announced.
McCurry is a renowned photographer who travels to remote areas of the world to take photographs.
One of the prints stolen is McCurry’s most notable work, "Afghan Girl," which appeared on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985.
"In order to take photographs like the Afghan Girl, Steve McCurry was exposed to extraordinary risks, tremendous costs, and spent years of his career," D.A. Tom Hogan said in a statement. "The defendant casually abused her position of trust to make some easy money, without a thought to the damage to Mr. McCurry.”
Prosecutors say between May 2012 until November 2013, DeStephano, who worked as manager of Fine Art Print Sales at McCurry's Chester County-based business, Steve McCurry Studios, stole 50 prints worth $628,000 and resold them.
McCurry allegedly resold some of the prints including through a gallery in Colorado with Brandon Donahue, manager of Open Shutter Gallery in Duragno, Colorado.
Donahue will also face criminal charges, prosecutors say.