Probation in Bend sex abuse case
Nick Grube / The Bulletin
Published Mar 6, 2012 at 04:00AM
A Bend woman accused of molesting her 8-year-old autistic son while a stranger watched online pleaded guilty last week to four felony counts of attempting to use a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct.
The 49-year-old woman will not go to prison. Instead, she was sentenced to 120 months of supervised probation in which she will have to complete 400 hours of community service. She also will not be allowed to use the Internet without consent from a judge or probation officer, and received credit for serving two days in jail.
As a part of the plea agreement, the woman — whom The Bulletin has chosen not to identify to protect the identity of her son — must complete a sex offender treatment program and cannot have unsupervised contact with minors, including the victim.
Should the woman violate any conditions of her probation, she will be sent to prison for 131 months, or nearly 11 years, according to information from the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.
The Bend Police Department arrested the woman in January 2011 after being tipped off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials who were investigating Steven Demink, a 42-year-old Michigan man who coerced at least seven women into sexually assaulting their children from 2009 to 2010.
According to federal court records, Demink met the women through the online dating site SingleParentMeet.com, where he created the character of Dalton St. Clair, an attractive Ph.D. psychologist with a young daughter he claimed was a nudist with him.
As St. Clair, the records show, Demink persuaded the women he met online to sexually assault their children, telling them it was a form of therapy. In the case of the Bend woman, federal court records state Demink convinced her that molesting her son would be a good way to teach the child about sex.
Demink was indicted in November 2010 on 13 federal charges related to the sexual exploitation of children, coercion and child pornography. He pleaded guilty to six of those counts, and in August 2011 was sentenced to life in prison.
The six other women, who live as far as away as Idaho, Florida and New Hampshire, have all been charged or indicted. Two of the women have cases pending, and the other four have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to 30 years.