34-year-old Caldwell man sentenced for 10 counts of sexual exploitation, battery
CALDWELL — A 34-year-old Caldwell man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and felony battery with intent to commit a serious felony, according to the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office.
A probable cause affidavit states Edward A. Stephens, who was arrested in March, had “been viewing child pornography for many years, and was worried about getting caught someday.”
Investigators with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sent two cyber tips to the Idaho Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in January after learning Stephens had moved to Idaho, according to the affidavit. Caldwell Police and the ICAC Task Force led the investigation locally.
A press release from the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office states that hours after Stephens was booked into the jail, he was contacted by a woman about inappropriately touching a 5-year-old girl. The phone call was recorded. The sheriff’s office investigated the allegation and was told by the victim that Stephens had touched her inappropriately numerous times over the last several months, according to the release.
Stephens refused to speak to investigators about the allegations and took an Alford guilty plea, a plea in which the defendant does not admit to the charge and asserts innocence, on a felony charge of battery with intent to a commit serious felony. He was sentenced to 20 years for the charge and must serve five years before being eligible for parole.
He was also given a 10-year sentence, with five years fixed for each of the 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The charges will run concurrently for a total prison sentence of 20 years.
“The defendant in this case had hundreds of images and videos of child pornography and openly admitted that he has been viewing them for years,” said Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin. “Then once he was in jail, investigators determined he had also been sexually abusing a young girl. This man was preying on the most vulnerable people in our community. There is no doubt he belongs behind bars.”
Stephens will also register as a sex offender and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and a $2,500 civil penalty.