Almanac

News - December 18, 2013

Local man sentenced for child pornography

by Dave Boyce

Stephen Wolf, who pleaded no contest in March 2013 to one count of possession of child pornography, was sentenced on Dec. 11 to three years of supervised probation on the condition that he serve eight months in the San Mateo County jail. Mr. Wolf was a resident of Portola Valley at the time of his arrest in March 2012.

The sentence by Superior Court Judge Jonathan Karesh specifies a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender and requires him to participate for one year in a sex-offender treatment program.

Mr. Wolf was one of nine men arrested on March 22, 2012, during a county-wide sweep of 11 homes by detectives from a regional Internet-crimes task force. He initially pleaded not guilty but then entered a no-contest plea on March 19, 2013.

In the arrests, detectives seized computers containing pornographic images "and other evidence linking the men to the distribution and/or possession of child pornography," the Sheriff's Office said. Mr. Wolf's computer contained images of nude girls ages 6 through 12 who were "engaged in sexual activity," prosecutors said.

Jonathan McDougall, Mr. Wolf's attorney, has not yet responded to a request for comment.

In the sentencing, the judge granted Mr. Wolf, 66, one day of credit for time already served in jail, and a stay on his surrender until 10 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2014. He has been out of custody on $10,000 bail.

Mr. Wolf must seek counseling "as directed" and if he consults with a psychotherapist, records of his sessions will be accessible to his probation officer, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato told the Almanac.

Once he is out of jail, he is forbidden to live in a house in which a child is present and may not associate with minors unless in the presence of a responsible adult who has been approved by his probation officer, prosecutors said. He must stay 100 yards away from schools and places where children congregate and is not allowed to date or socialize with anyone who has physical custody of a child without the permission of his probation officer, prosecutors said.

He is forbidden to enter an adult pornography business and to possess pornography of any kind. His computer is subject to forensic search. If he has a storage locker, it must be with the permission of his probation officer, prosecutors said.

If Mr. Wolf takes a job, his probation officer must approve. As a convicted felon, he is not allowed to own a deadly weapon or ammunition. He owes $650 in fines, fees and assessments, must pay $100 a month probation fee and must submit his DNA to authorities.

He must notify the local police department of his sex offender status and his address, in effect ensuring that "there is no period of time in which law enforcement isn't aware of (his) updated address information," Mr. Serrato said.

Mr. Wolf also loses his Fourth Amendment protections against random search and seizure and his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. He must submit to random polygraph testing, Mr. Serrato said.

In sex offender cases, the state gives courts substantial authority to "craft conditions that would help to rehabilitate the offender," Mr. Serrato said. "Given what he (pleaded) to, it's reasonable."

Mr. Wolf's sentencing had been delayed three times: in July 2013 to allow further forensic computer examination, in September because the judge had work conflicts, and in October to resolve the question of how many times pornography had been downloaded to his computer.

Comments

Posted by Whoa, a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Seems pretty draconian for looking at pictures as opposed to actually molesting a child.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields