Steven Sitler Hearing: Review of Terms of Probation

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson at the 27:07 mark of the audio:

“You know, I can sympathize and appreciate the situation that Mr. Sitler’s parents find themselves in; that his wife finds herself in; that their family and friends and supporters find themselves in; because everybody would love for Mr. Sitler to become a normal person. The fact of the matter is, Your Honor, he is not. He is a serial child sexual abuser, to the point where Your Honor has imposed a life sentence and required that he be under supervision for the rest of his natural life.

He has multiple victims, all of them young — some so young that they would not be in any position to protect themselves. The risk to society is substantial here. The risk to his own child — despite the best wishes and hopes of everybody in this courtroom — is substantial. The actions that he has engaged in that he has disclosed to this point are a compelling basis that he cannot have anything close to a normal parental relationship with this child — certainly at this point in time.

I don’t say that lightly. I think the majority of the people in this room have children; they know how important it is to have a relationship with their own children — counsel, Your Honor, myself. But Mr. Sitler’s situation is unique. And as we stand here today, even though this is not a child-protection case by title, I think the most compelling, pressing issue is ensuring the protection of this child.

The best way to handle that is to prohibit Mr. Sitler from having contact with the child except in the direct line-of-sight supervision of a responsible approved chaperone — approved by the Department of Correction and Valley Treatment Specialties. At this point in time, that means Mr. Sitler would not be able to reside with his wife and child in their home. We are talking 24-7 direct line-of-sight supervision. It’s not just “Hold the baby while I take a shower — hang out in the room and watch TV.” It’s not “I need to get up in the middle of the night to take care of the baby” — somebody needs to be there all the time. And I suspect that’s not going to be realistic — at least not at this point in time.

That’s the reality of where we are Your Honor. And I’m really sorry that we’re here. I truly am. But we can’t change what has occurred. And what is still troublesome is Mr. Sitler has yet to successfully complete a polygraph examination, which suggests that there is something out there that has not yet been disclosed — and we don’t know what that might be. Because it seems that every step we make, since we started this past summer, there’s been a little bit of disclosure and then a failure. And a little bit more of a disclosure, and a little bit more of a disclosure — and if Your Honor looks at where we are now with what we know, not from polygraph results but we know from Mr. Sitler’s own disclosures — from his own lips — and where we were just a month and a half ago, they don’t even compare.

So, Your Honor, please, we ask that you do what is necessary to ensure appropriate protection for the child and afford everybody to try to move forward again. Get Mr. Sitler back in with his treatment. Get his family, his wife, back engaged with what they need to, to try to become responsible chaperones. I don’t know that they can. The last thing that they want is for him to get into trouble. It is the natural reaction of a wife or a parent to want to protect their child or their husband from getting in trouble. And by virtue of having to come before Your Honor into this courtroom, they know Mr. Sitler’s in trouble. Their incentive is not to report. I am not questioning that they are good people; they are good people. But they are people; they are human. And we see the reality as we stand here before you, Judge.” (Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson @27:07)