Craig man pleads guilty to exploitation charges

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A 29-year-old man charged with 40 felonies, including sexual exploitation of children and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, pleaded guilty to nine counts Monday in Moffat County District Court.

As part of a plea agreement with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Stephan White pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of children, a Class 3 felony; four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Class 4 felony; and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, also a Class 4 felony.

White, who is in custody at the Moffat County Jail, did not address the court Monday, other than entering his guilty plea.

Under terms of the plea agreement, the other charges, including 31 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and indecent exposure, were dropped.

Michael O’Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District, set sentencing for 3:30 p.m. April 6 in district court.

Under the plea agreement, sentencing is open.

If White is sentenced to prison, he will receive a sentence of 12 to 15 years, the deal stipulates.

O’Hara spent several minutes Monday talking with deputy district attorney Jon Pfeifer and public defender Emily Wickham to better understand the deal.

The deal acknowledges several children were victimized, but limits the potential for a consecutive sentence for White.

“We’re talking, I think, seven individuals,” Pfeifer told O’Hara. “So (consecutive sentences) could be a de facto life sentence.”

If he is sentenced to Correctional Alternative Placement Services or probation and violates that sentence, the same 12- to 15-year limit will be applicable upon entering prison.

“I would just say to the court that if he were terminated from probation or CAPS, 15 years prison is still a lengthy sentence that he would be facing,” Wickham said.

Pfeifer told O’Hara during the proceedings that the victims’ ages ranged from 10 to 14 years old.

The suspect was formally charged in September 2010.

According to court records, the Craig Police Department began investigating the man in April 2010 after a report of alleged sexual abuse.

Two search warrants allegedly resulted in the confiscation of two laptops, two cell phones, 47 DVD/CDs, seven VHS tapes and a digital camera, according to records.

Thirteen of the DVD/CDs allegedly contained photos of young girls barely clothed or nude. Images were also allegedly found on one of the laptops, a cell phone and in White’s bedroom.

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Comments

hereandthere 3 years, 2 months ago

CAPs? You got to be "freakin" kidding us. Seven victims. Put this POS away for life.

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jerry carlton 3 years, 2 months ago

The court system will play around with this guy till he kills a child. Happens time after time. Polly Clasp is a prime example. Then they may finally put him away for good. There is very little common sense in the courts.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Since when do plea agreements limit the judge's ability to sentence the defendant? Sure, the DA can ask for certain sentencing and the judge cannot impose more of a sentence that the law allows, but to actually limit the judge's options?

Since there is 7 victims then DA just agreed fair punishment is 18 months to 2 years per victim.

There are 7 victims, but consecutive sentences is considered unfair? That is the exact situation that justifies consecutive sessions.

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1999 3 years, 2 months ago

good god...there were 7 CONSECUTIVE victims......that to me warrants 7 CONSECUTIVE sentences.

wow.....

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John St Pierre 3 years, 2 months ago

PROBATION???? Where are the Federal charges?????? Possession of Child Porn is a Federal offense & each image is a seperate offense..... especially since they were on a laptop and a cell phone... what in the heck is going on here???????? Did the Craig PD notify the Feds of what they found???????????

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