Thursday, July 1, 2010

Steward Steckley Jr. - Repeat Sex Offender - Pedophile in Denial Gets 25 to 50

Repeat sex offender Steward Steckley Jr. will spend at least 25 years behind state prison bars after being sentenced Wednesday in Schuylkill County Court for twice possessing child pornography.

Steckley, 40, of Pottsville, bowed his head as Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin sentenced him to serve 25 to 50 years in a state correctional institution.

Dolbin also ruled Steckley is a sexually violent predator, meaning that if he ever leaves prison, he will be required to register under Megan's Law for the rest of his life.

"The Legislature has commanded me to impose this sentence, but even if it had not, I would have imposed it anyway," Dolbin said.

Steckley, who unsuccessfully asked Dolbin for mercy, must serve 25 to 50 years because he had pleaded guilty in 1995 to indecent assault, which resulted in the imposition of Megan's Law sanctions.

Dolbin rejected Steckley's claims that he had not received sufficient notice that prosecutors wanted the mandatory sentence and that it should not apply in his case.

"We are pleased that the judge agreed with our analysis of this case," First Assistant District Attorney Karen Noon said after Wednesday's two-hour hearing.

In a two-day trial, a Schuylkill County jury convicted Steckley of two charges of sexual abuse of children-possession of child pornography, while finding him not guilty of possession of prohibited offensive weapon.

Pottsville police had charged Steckley with possessing pornography twice on May 19, 2009, at his home.

Prosecutors showed to jurors eight movies with boys performing various sexual acts. Carbondale pediatrician Dr. Andrea Taroli testified at the trial that the boys in all the movies were no older than 13.

At Wednesday's hearing, psychotherapist Dean Dickson, Newtown, Bucks County, testified that Steckley clearly fits the definition of a sexually violent predator and poses a permanent risk of committing more crimes.
"He had failed treatment. He was a well-entrenched deviant sexual offender," testified Dickson, who also is a member of the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board. "What we're looking at here is a period of decades." Steckley has both pedophilia, a sexual attraction to children 13 and younger, and paraphilia, a sexual attraction to adolescents 14 and older, but will not admit anything is wrong with him, Dickson said.
"Pedophilia is incurable," Dickson testified. "He said, 'I am not at risk to reoffend.' Mr. Steckley has been in denial for so many years that it has become entrenched." Deputy Clerk of Courts Diane Baddick produced records showing Steckley pleaded guilty on May 24, 1995, to indecent assault. Prosecutors said that case involved an attack on a 13-year-old child.

Steckley read from three letters people had written on his behalf and asked for leniency.

"I just ask that the court have mercy on me in the sentencing," Steckley said. "It wouldn't be mercy if you deserved it."

Assistant Public Defender Andrea L. Thompson, Steckley's lawyer, unsuccessfully argued that prosecutors had not provided sufficient notice of their intention to seek the mandatory 25-year minimum sentence. Dolbin ruled the notice, provided on June 22, was sufficient under the law.

"We're not playing games here. We're trying to get to the right result," Dolbin said in rejecting Thompson's claim.

After the hearing, Thompson said she would file an appeal on her client's behalf but otherwise declined to comment on the case.

In his sentence, Dolbin also ordered Steckley to submit a DNA sample to law enforcement authorities and pay costs and $100 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account.Defendant: Steward Steckley Jr.

Age: 40

Hometown: Pottsville

Crimes committed: Two charges of sexual abuse of children-possession of child pornography

Prison sentence: 25 to 50 years in a state correctional institution

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

"On average most sex offenders are never caught again for a new sex offense, after five years, between 10 and 15 percent of sex offenders are detected, often convicted, of committing a new sex offense. If you follow them for ten years the rates go up somewhat, if you follow them as long as we’ve been able to follow them, which is about 20 years, the rates go up to somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of the total sample will eventually be caught for a new sex offense."
Dr. R. Karl Hansen

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