By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- A Strasburg man who molested teen boys and took nude photos of them will spend 11 years in prison.
Medford Allen Steed, 51, of 189 N. Fort St., Apt. 8, was sentenced Jan. 25 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court to 55 years in prison, with 44 years suspended, according to court records. He will be on 10 years of probation after his release.
Court records indicate Steed entered an Alford plea in which he doesn't admit guilt, but acknowledges the commonwealth has enough evidence for a conviction.
He was indicted June 1 on five counts of soliciting a child over the computer, four counts of indecent exposure, three counts of reproducing child pornography, two counts of producing child pornography and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. As part of a plea agreement, the battery and solicitation counts were dismissed.
The charges stem from a Feb. 25, 2011, incident, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Circuit Court. It says two boys, 14 and 16, were at Steed's apartment because he often gave them alcohol and pizza and because he lied that he was dying of cancer and wanted companionship.
According to an arrest affidavit written by Strasburg police investigator William E. Baitinger, Steed had started fondling the boys in January 2011, and progressed to taking pictures of their genitals while they were intoxicated.
The search warrant affidavit says the boys felt pressured by Steed, and once he left the room, they tried to delete the photos from his cell phone.
Baitinger's affidavit says Steed showed the pornographic pictures to a 14-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy and two young adults. It says he also asked the two 14-year-olds to expose their genitals.
During the search of Steed's apartment, investigators seized pornographic tapes and photos and two cell phones, according to Sutherly's release.
The plea agreement says the deal was reached to avoid the victims being further traumatized by having to testify about the acts in open court.
Steed must register as sex offender and have no contact with the victims or their families, according to court records.
As part of the conditions of his suspended sentence, he can't use drugs or alcohol, possess or view pornography, have an Internet account in his name or have unsupervised contact with minors.