Jun 13, 2017

Pre plea report and mental health evaluation ordered for Matthew Steele, charged with possession of child porn

Matthew Steele, who was arrested back in January and charged with possession of matter depicting minor engaging in sexual conduct had a preliminary scheduled for June 14.

Today, Steele had an intervention hearing. His preliminary hearing was vacated. A pre plea report hearing scheduled for PC 288.1 is scheduled for 10:15 on 7/27.

From Justia law:

PC 288.1: "Any person convicted of committing any lewd or lascivious act including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1 of this code upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years shall not have his or her sentence suspended until the court obtains a report from a reputable psychiatrist, from a reputable psychologist who meets the standards set forth in Section 1027, as to the mental condition of that person." 

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Apr 3, 2017

I year of prison time maybe? Probation? This is supposed to be a deterrent for the crime for having child pornography?

On March 30, the preliminary hearing for Matthew Steele was set for June 14. Intervention scheduled for June 13.

Steele is charged with PC 311.11 a
 The Humboldt County DA has charged him with a felony.

Steele's bail was set at $200,000 and he is out of custody. He was arraigned on February 15 and plead not guilty.

On January 11, I posted on the details from the Ramey warrant, link below. The Ramey warrant listed approximately 500 images. The warrant listed HSU as his business address.

 I contacted HSU to see if he is still employed there. According to HR, "Matthew Aaron Steele was employed at HSU through 1/19/2017. He was working with the Sponsored Programs Foundation, an auxiliary of HSU."

From law.onecle.com

"311.11. (a) Every person who knowingly possesses or controls any matter, of representation of information, data, or image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disc, data storage media, CD-ROM, or computer-generated equipment or any other computer-generated image that contains or incorporates in any manner, any film or filmstrip, the production of which involves the use of a person under 18 years of age, knowing that the matter depicts a person under 18 years of age personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 311.4, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or a county jail for up to one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both the fine and imprisonment."

From Takajian and Sitkoff, LLP:

PC 311.11(a) Punishment And Consequences

Possession child pornography is a “wobbler” offense in California. Therefore, prosecutors can charge you with either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the facts of your case, such as the number of images you possessed, the specific acts depicted in the images, whether you have prior convictions for child porn possession, and whether you are a registered sex offender. These aggravating factors also further enhance the already harsh punishments you face. However, as a misdemeanor, you face the following:
  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail
  • Up to a $2,500 fine
  • Formal probation
  • Community labor
  • Lifetime registration as a sex offender
As a felony:
  • Up to 1 year in state prison
  • Up to a $2,500 fine
  • Formal probation
  • Community labor
  • Lifetime registration as a sex offender
Your punishment and sentencing would be further enhanced to up to 5 years in state prison if your possession of child pornography charges involves one or more of the following:
  • You possessed 600 or more images with 10 or more images depicting prepubescent minors or minor under 12 years old
  • The images you possessed depicted minors under 18 years of age engaged in sexual sadism or sexual masochism
If you have been previously convicted of a sex offense requiring sex offender registration, you will be charged with a felony possession of child pornography and face the following punishment and sentencing:
  • Up to 6 years in state prison
  • Up to a $2,500 fine

Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schafer is prosecuting the case. Mr. Michael Robinson has been hired by Steele to represent him.

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