Posted by Rosemary Huskey
This morning I sat in a nearly empty courtroom and listened to arguments regarding the June 11th marriage of Steven Sitler and Katie Travis. The Department of Corrections unambiguously stated that they did not support this marriage. In late March Mr. Sitler told his probation officer that in a year or so (predicated, apparently, on Miss Travis’ graduation from a college program) they want to start a family. Following that conversation, and because of the potential risk to any children Mr. Sitler might father, the DOC (Department of Corrections) requested further psychological evaluation of Mr. Sitler. The results of his AASI = Abel Assessment for Sexual Interest raised concerns.
Mr. Wullenwaber, representing Steven Sitler, challenged the appropriateness of the test in Mr. Sitler’s case, as well as the academic credentials of the evaluator. (The evaluator has a clinical practice in Coeur d’Alene “specializing in the treatment and evaluation of sexual offenders” and sits on the Sexual Offender Classification Board; his credentials seem pretty solid to me.) This tiresome old rhetorical device of Christ Church members and leadership, i.e., ad hominem attacks fell, I believe, on deaf ears. Mr. Wullenwaber also argued that the issue in front of the court today was marriage, not potential children, which seemed to me to be an accurate statement.
The discussion amongst Latah County Prosecutor, Bill Thompson; Judge Stegner; and Mr. Wullenwaber, focused, in part, on the legal consequence if/when Steven Sitler and Katie Travis have children. It may be the case that Mr. Sitler will not be allowed to share a home with his wife and child or children. This remedy may be utilized in Idaho when the father is a convicted pedophile. Judge Stegner ruled that the wedding could go forward and issues regarding the protection of children will be addressed if and children are a factor in the marriage.
I am troubled that the marriage is going to take place, but I understand that there is no law that prevents the marriage of convicted pedophiles — I wish that there were. I learned in court today (courtesy of Mr. Wullenwaber’s argument) that Mr. Sitler molested young children related to him and that in 2009 with the blessing of some of his therapists, he apparently “reestablished contact” with the adult family members of those children. It is unclear (to me) if he is allowed to also be around the family members he victimized. How nauseating is that mental picture?
What, if anything, have we learned about this whole awful situation? We know that Steven Sitler spent (approximately) nine months in custody (with time out to drive himself to his therapy sessions in Lewiston). We know that he avoided a prison sentence by agreeing to release some of the names of his victims. We know he has a little home on Main Street that was (and may still be) owned by members of Christ Church. We know that Mr. Sitler has “graduated” (according to Mr. Wullenwaber) from the sexual offenders Valley Treatment Program in Lewiston/Clarkston. We know that prior to attending NSA he was homeschooled, by his mother, Roxanne Sitler.
“As a Christian, I am more than just a little burdened for our children and have myself been very involved in the civil sphere. Even though I homeschooled my children, I continued to be involved in instructional materials committees, sex ed committees, restructuring committees, etc. and that was just at the local level. I am still involved today, but over the last six-seven years of intense researching to uncover what is wrong with public schools and fighting to change it, God has been gracious enough to simultaneously show me what a Christian philosophy of education is.” — Roxanne Sitler
Sadly, her crusade to demolish public schools did little to protect this little Colville girl. We know that Mr. Sitler attends the University of Idaho and has completed three years of a Chemical Engineering degree. We know that on August 18th, 2010 at the insistence of Mr. and Mrs. Iverson ( Mr. Ed Iverson is NSA’s librarian, and a Christ Church elder) Steven Sitler attended a dinner to meet Katie Travis. Click on the “Our Story” tab to read “Steven’s Rendition” (how odd a word choice is that????) to read Ed Iverson’s description of Katie was that, though NSA was tough for her, she persevered through and she was, “pretty good looking, too”. Now we know for sure what I have strongly suspected for several years, Ed Iverson is a patronizing, lickspittle, jackass.
The questions that I can’t answer are the ones that are haunt me. Why isn’t Steven Sitler, a dog’s dinner of a scum bag, sitting in prison right now? Why was a deal ever cut with this piece of nastiness? Do any of you think that he revealed all the names of the children he molested — all dozens and dozens and dozens of them? What led Katie Travis to want to marry this kind of man? What led Ed Iverson, Doug Wilson, Tim Tucker, and all the elders of Christ Church, to choose Katie Travis to be their local trash collector? What could she possibly have done to them to deserve what she is going to get in the years ahead? They are keenly aware of Steven Sitler’s long history of molesting young children, and yet they acted as a trio of grotesque matchmakers (the witches of Macbeth and a bedraggled Greek chorus comes to mind) in giving their blessing to this match.
What impression will parents of perspective students at Logos or NSA have of these wicked men if/when they learn about the role these church leaders and school administrators had in facilitating this marriage? And, what in the name of everything that is loving, nurturing, protective, and responsible possessed Don and Betsy Travis (the bride’s parents) to approve this tragic union? There are no answers to these questions because in the world that most of us live in these issues would never arise. In Christ Church and other CREC affiliates patriarchy is exalted, “decent” women are submissive (and clearly disposable), and leadership decisions are absolute and unchallenged. It is no wonder that appalling events take place.
In spite of the discouraging outcome of the status hearing today, two people shone a bright light into the gloomy atmosphere that surrounds a discussion of pedophilia. Representatives from the Department of Correction, District 2 are honorable, straightforward, fair, professional and vigilant. I am grateful to them for their efforts to protect our community, and I am confident that they will continue to carefully monitor the behavior of Steven Sitler.