By Lee Rozen, for the editorial board
Latah County 2nd District Court Judge John Stegner seems more rooted in reality than the counselor, social worker and minister at Valley Treatment Specialties, a Lewiston sexual offender treatment provider.
They recommended Steven Sitler, 30, a Moscow man sentenced in 2005 to life in prison for lewd conduct with a child, be allowed to move back into his family home with his young child, whom he admitted to having contact with that resulted in sexual stimulation.
Stegner denied Sitler that privilege Wednesday.
This “fixated pedophile” has quite a history. Before his conviction in 2005, he babysat for several members of his church congregation, Doug Wilson’s Christ Church. He served a year in prison, and nearly a year in jail. Then, released on probation for life, he was required to find a male roommate and have no contact with his victims or their families. With encouragement from some of his congregation, he married in 2011. Then, his wife got pregnant. As these things go, he soon had a son.
His wife, mom and dad, among some nine other “approved chaperones,” were to keep track of his activities to make sure he didn’t have inappropriate contact with his own child. But within a month they failed. Beyond that, wife, mother and father knew about it but failed to tell his probation officer. That disqualified them as chaperones, essentially barring Sitler from his own house.
Mom was retrained and reinstated as a chaperone in January. The wife’s retraining took until August to demonstrate an increase in knowledge and skill.
So, Sitler’s lawyers thought he could move back home.
The conditions recommended for a happy home life for all, bordered on absurd. If Sitler, his wife and son were alone in the house, his wife had to be able to see him when he was with his son; he couldn’t change his son’s diaper; his wife had to be able to see either her son or her husband from the bathroom; both he and his wife had to undergo polygraph testing; and he had to self-report any wrongdoing.
Most of those are unrealistic expectations.
It’s simple. Pedophiles — and no one claims Sitler has been cured — should not be around children, their own or anyone else’s.