White sentenced to 15 years in prison in sexual exploitation case | CraigDailyPress.com

White sentenced to 15 years in prison in sexual exploitation case

Scott Schlaufman

Stephan White

A 29-year-old Craig man who pleaded guilty to nine felonies relating to sexual exploitation of children was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday.

As part of a plea agreement with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Stephan White pleaded guilty in January 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.

Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District, sentenced White to consecutive sentences of eight years prison on count one and seven years on count two. Sentencing on the remaining counts is concurrent with the first two. White will also have five years of parole.

Under the plea agreement, White was not to be sentenced to more than 15 years prison.

White did not speak during the hearing but submitted a letter on his behalf to O'Hara. He was represented by public defender Emily Wickham.

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

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

Some 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.

White was charged in September 2010 with 40 felonies in the case before reaching a plea agreement. As a result of the deal, the other 31 felonies were dropped.

O'Hara told White during the hearing that he rarely sees cases of such magnitude and said the extent of his crimes were "the most aggravating factor" in sentencing.

Prior to sentencing, Wickham asked O'Hara to consider other options such as probation and jail time, but said White was not accepted by community corrections.

She said White hoped to get treatment for his problems, which in prison is more difficult with a mandatory release date.

O'Hara told White he had considered options other than prison, but was limited. He said the treatment options for White would be as limited in Moffat County as they would be in prison.

Prosecutor Jon Pfeifer asked for the maximum sentence, telling O'Hara the crimes White committed would affect victims for the rest of their lives.

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