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West Bend man sentenced for Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charge | By Kenneth Gales

December 21, 2023 – West Bend, Wi -United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on December 20, 2023, United States District Judge Brett H. Ludwig sentenced Steven M. Stathas, 33, of West Bend, Wisconsin, to 180 months’ imprisonment (15 years), after he pleaded guilty to using a computer to attempt to Persuade, Induce, and Entice a Minor to Engage in Unlawful Activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b).


Stathas’s term of imprisonment will be followed by 10 years of supervised release, and he will also pay a $100.00 special assessment.

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According to court filings, Stathas, who was required to register as a sex offender after being convicted of two felony sex offenses against minors, began communicating online with a 15-year-old who lived in Kentucky in late 2021.

Between September and November 2021, Stathas travelled from the Eastern District of Wisconsin to Kentucky on multiple occasions and engaged in various sex acts with the victim.

Finally, on November 28, 2021, Stathas drove to Kentucky, picked the victim up from
her family home without her parent’s consent or knowledge, and drove her to his home in Wisconsin, where he was apprehended by the West Bend Police Department.

When imposing sentence, Judge Ludwig observed that because of Stathas’s behavior “a permanent scar has been left on the victim’s life.”

Judge Ludwig also noted that “[t]here is no justification for what occurred,” and that [t]his was a vulnerable young girl who was victimized by a man who was twice her age.” Judge Ludwig additionally stated that “[g]rown men cannot victimize teenage girls, and if they do, a price has got to be paid.”

This case was investigated by the West Bend Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan J. Paulson and Trial Attorney William G. Clayman of the United States Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood, marshals, federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

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