Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Please Try to Forgive Steven Demink

DETROIT - In real life, Steven Demink didn't have children, a college degree or a lasting career. Online, prosecutors say, he presented himself as Dalton St. Clair, an attractive single father and psychologist - a fantasy image authorities say the Michigan man used to persuade mothers across the country to commit unspeakable acts on their children. Demink, 41, of Redford Township, preyed on single mothers for more than a year, prosecutors say, convincing them to sexually assault their children as a form of therapy. After pleading guilty Monday to six charges related to the sexual exploitation of children, Demink faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in June. Demink told U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen that before his arrest, he worked as a car salesman for about six months and before that for about five years at a local bank. He said he completed a U.S. Customs and Border Protection training program in 2002 and worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service for about a year. He attended college for about two years but did not earn a degree, he said. The Associated Press is not naming the women to protect the identity of the children. The AP generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse. Demink's attorney, Timothy Dinan, said his client "has expressed a lot of remorse" for what he did and has taken responsibility by pleading guilty. Dinan said Demink's parents, who declined to be interviewed, are praying for their son as well as the victims and their families. "It's a shame he couldn't ask for help," Dinan said. - JEFF KAROUB

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