Moscow–Pullman Daily News: Judge amends Sitler’s conditions of probation

Moscow-Pullman Daily News | September 8, 2007

Judge amends Sitler’s conditions of probation

Convicted sex offender required to meet list of criteria

Staff reportJudge amends Sitler’s conditions of probation

Convicted sex offender Steven Sitler’s conditions of probation were amended Friday at a court date originally scheduled as an evidentiary hearing.

Sitler was arrested June 18 on an allegation that he violated his probation by engaging in voyeurism. He was forced to move from his home at 801 Residence St., which is within 150 feet of Grandma Bea’s Day Care, at 807 West C St.

Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson said a hearing was unnecessary because there was no evidence that Sitler has violated the law.

Thompson said Sitler’s actions that prompted the arrest were a lapse, not a relapse. Lapses are expected as sex offenders go through treatment.

Sitler was convicted in July 2005 of one felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor child under the age of 16. He was sentenced that September, and his life sentence was subject to annual review.

He was released on probation in May after serving less than two years of a life sentence.

Under the amended probation conditions approved by Latah County District Court Judge John Stegner, Sitler:

  • Must have an approved chaperone with him whenever he is out of his residence, except when he traveling to or from work or is at work;
  • Must comply with a schedule of activities approved by his probation officer;
  • May not have any contact with his victims or their immediate families;
  • May not have any “vision enhancing devices” such as binoculars; and
  • Shall make reasonable efforts to find an “informed, age appropriate male roommate” who will live under the same restrictions he does.

Sitler also will have a “supervision and treatment team” made up of his probation officer, Jackye Squire-Leonard; Steven Lindsley of Valley Treatment Specialties, the facility where Sitler is receiving sex-offender treatment; and Dr. Greg Wilson, who has provided treatment and counseling to Sitler. The team will watch for lapses and relapses in Sitler’s behavior, Thompson said.

Sitler’s lawyer, Dean Wullenwaber of Lewiston, said he is happy with the team and the condition that Sitler attempt to find a roommate. He added that the chaperone schedule and no-contact conditions already exist, and that no vision-enhancing items have been in Sitler’s possession since he was arrested.

Stegner said the court is taking “baby steps” in Sitler’s case.

“We are trying to see whether you can make it on probation, and you are as closely monitored as anyone I know on probation.” Stegner said to Sitler, “We’ll see where we go from here.”