[Vision2020] Give Sitler a Chance: Response to Comments

Art Deco deco at moscow.com
Mon May 14 15:17:03 PDT 2007

Glenn, Saundra, Keely, et al,


This is a response to several comments made about my modest proposal with respect to pedophile Steven Sitler:


"Wilson could petition the court to allow Sitler to board at his daughter's and son-in-law's (the Merkle's) home with their horde of children for the next two or three years."


I have received a number of off-list responses about this proposal.  All of those responders recognized that my proposal was irony and extreme irony at that.  Not only was the posting irony, but irony heavily laden with sub-text.


I would never seriously suggest that any convicted pedophile or even any person with a probable propensity towards sexually abusing children be allowed anywhere near them, and in fact, quite the contrary.  I had hoped that anyone who has read my previous postings on this subject would have seen see that.


I no more meant to suggest that a person with pedophilic tendencies be placed around children than Jonathan Swift would seriously suggest that we eat cook and children, the ironic thesis of his essay A Modest Proposal.  


To those that do not think that pedophilia should be the subject of irony:  We disagree.  In this case, irony was not used to poke fun at anyone, especially the numerous, unfortunate victims of Sitler.  Irony, especially irony with sub-text, is sometimes an effective means making a point.  This time, some got it, others not.  Some appeared to choose to intentionally misinterpret it.


In addition, although the prosecutor and the court have seemed to have evinced great gullibility in this case, the probability that they would ever even consider such a horrendous proposal is very close to zero.


That said, I apologize for the lack of clarity in my writing that caused some to sincerely take it as a serious proposal or an attempt to make fun of the victim's of pedophilia.



Mr. Schwaller takes me to task for being a name caller with respect to convicted pedophile Steven Sitler.  His objection was to my use of the phrase 


"to prove that Sitler has been cured of his habit of debauching children"


Although there is absolutely no doubt that I have been and will be a name caller on Vision 2020, this instance is not one of them.


One of the problems in dealing with child sexual abuse is that many truly concerned people are unwilling to discuss it openly and/or to discuss it in candidly descriptive terms.  I present some excerpts from the Sitler case file below.  Readers can decide if the "habit of debauching children" is name calling or an accurate description of Steven Sitler's actions.


From:   Case No. Cr-2005-02027, RULE 11 PLEA AGREEMENT


2.         The State agrees that it will not recommend a sentence greater than a judgment of conviction with the court retaining jurisdiction. The prosecuting attorney has been made aware by counsel for the defendant that the volume and extent of acts by the defendant are greater than the investigator's documentation. The prosecuting attorney has also been made aware by counsel for the defendant that similar acts occurred in connection with minors now residing in other states. The State agrees that it will not charge Steven James Sitler with any other crimes of a similar nature to Lewd Conduct with a Minor Under Sixteen Years of Age based on facts he discloses in connection with this case.



Dear Mr. Thompson:


I have reviewed the Rule II Plea Agreement in State v. Steven Sitler, Cause [sic] No. CR-2005-02027, specifically paragraphs 2 and 3.   I find that both paragraphs accurately stale my position in this matter, wherein no charges will be pursued concerning disclosed Stevens County victims for crimes similar to Lewd Conduct with a Minor Under Sixteen Years of Age.



John G. Wetle

Prosecuting Attorney for Stevens County



From:   Letter to Judge Stegner from a victim's parents


Steven has admitted to several incidents of sexual perversion. We personally only know of the full details of his molestation of our daughter, Elizabeth. When she was only two years old, Steven offered to take her downstairs and watch her while the adults were talking upstairs. At that time he forced her to kiss his erect penis. It was painful enough to be told of the perversion that Steven committed against Elizabeth yet now we have watched for the last six months as an admitted child molester has been living in the comforts of his parent's home, whiling away the days that should be spent in jail.



Please notice the use of plurals in the language above and make the clear inference.  In addition, the original NO CONTACT order issued in this case (from which I will not quote) contains some other information which generates inferences not inconsistent with that above.



There are many questions about the handling of this case starting with the initial spawning incident to the court hearing last week.  Time now does not permit me to write a comprehensive review.


But from another document:


The case was marked by an egregiously lax law enforcement investigation including a six month "escape" from local jurisdiction while the case was being adjudicated, a much less than stellar prosecutor, very cozy cronyism between law enforcement, the prosecutor, and the pastor (read:  cultmaster) of a so-called Christian church (read:  cult) of which the pedophile was a participant, boarder, and student, and no press coverage before or while the case was in the adjudicated stages.  [Steven Sitler was the second sexual offender outed from the so-called Christian college, New Saint Andrews (an adjunct of the church (cult)), in a very short time.  Many locals wonder if these two represent only the tip of a large iceberg.]



I have another question about the trophy website, especially given Mr. Schwaller contention that the court was not made aware of this during the original and revised sentencing but was aware of before last week's hearing.


The original plea bargain contained the language:


This plea agreement is based upon the facts and circumstances as they exist at the date of the signing of this agreement.


This seems to indicate that the original omission of this trophy site evidence would be grounds for a reevaluation of the appropriateness of the original plea bargain and original and revised sentences.


Here's another issue which greatly bothers me:  During the pre-sentence process, the State's expert witnesses presented strong evidence that Sitler was a high risk.  Sitler's paid expert witness presented a rebuttal to these contentions.  When I reviewed the file (before it was eviscerated by the court), there was no counter-rebuttal offered by the prosecutor.  Aside from the obvious inference about the prosecutor's lack of action, I am left to wonder how the State's expert witnesses felt about this.



I congratulate the Daily News (Saturday, May 12, 2007) for finally discussing parts of this case.  


The following probably mirrors the concerns of many persons much more eloquently than I ever could:


Sue Fellon, executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said the time sex offenders serve ultimately depends on the severity of the case and the sentence that was handed down.


"When someone gets a life sentence and only does a little over a year, treatment certainly cannot be monitored during that short of time," she said. "I think the jury's still out on (whether) treatment helps everybody."


She said there is no guarantee treatment will keep those convicted of sex offenses from re-offending.


"Pedophiles choose a child and are seeking power and control," Fellon said. "(They) made a choice, nobody makes them do it."


She said pedophiles usually aren't the type to cause problems in prison and generally are well-behaved, which may help some get out early for good behavior.


Fellon said there's a message sent to victims when offenders are released early.


"Victims of sex abuse and assault often choose not to report and go through all this," she said. "This is another threat on the pile. (Sitler) gets a slap on the hand; you'd get more prison time if you got a couple of DUIs."


She said the system is there to help the victim, but offenders often are treated with more compassion.


Fellon said it's the victims who end up serving the life sentence because they must live with the crime for the rest of their lives.


I greatly hope that Sitler does not re-offend.  The world does not need new victims or recycled victims of these defiling, and sometimes life-altering crimes.  [Another issue raised by Ms. Fellon:  Do the weak sentencing conditions in this case forward general deterrence or provide sufficient retribution?]


However, the reality is that predicting whether a particular offender will re-offend or not re-offend is very risky business.  It seems to me to be very, very risky business when the offenses are numerous, over a long period of time, over wide areas, and where the offender kept a photographic trophy website including some of his victims.


I do not wish to disparage Probation and Parole.  However, they are overburdened and as such their effectiveness is not at its peak.  And as to polygraph tests, they may or may not be helpful.  Googling can allow those interested to find suggestions of successful ways to beat polygraph tests.  Pedophiles are sometimes gifted with great guile.  That is part of the reason they can escape detection for a long time or even ever.  I am not assured that Probation and Parole or any one else for that matter including a professional counselor is a match for a determined pedophile's guile.


Therefore, given the risky nature of predicting whether re-offenses will occur or not, then in my opinion, the error of assessing risk should be strongly on the side of protecting children and the community.


I am not convinced in this case that if Sitler re-offends, that he (a) will be caught, and (b) if caught, will be reported to law enforcement given the nature of the cult to which he has been entrusted, and the huge loss they would suffer should Sitler demonstrate that he is not "cured" despite all their assurances.  [Perhaps, those that understood the some of the sub-text in the original ironic post have all ready picked this up.]



If nothing else, I hope this continuing discussion provides motivation for all of use to encourage the construction of a world where pedophilia does not occur, and if it does, it propagators are dealt with swiftly, effectively, and with justice for all, but especially for the victims.



/s/ Wayne A. Fox


Wayne A. Fox

1009 Karen Lane

P.O. Box 9421

Moscow, ID  83843


(208) 882-7975

waf at moscow.com

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