Newton Falls Man gets life in prison for child sex crimes
A Newton Falls man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for child pornography and other sex crimes.
"The damage that you’ve done to this minor victim again is unconscionable," Judge Andrew Logan said. "These acts of abuse that took place and then you photographed and video'd them to be sent to other depraved and sick individuals. This is just disgusting thing, transaction that we are talking about here."
Steven Billock, 39, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to 31 counts including rape, attempted rape, pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor, gross sexual imposition, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material last month.
"I hope you spend the rest of your life or the time you are in prison regretting the damage that you have done to this child and this family," Judge Logan said.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped the sexually violent predator specifications handed up in an indictment. Under Ohio law, the predator specification could have meant a life sentence without parole.
Without that specification, this means that at 99, he will be eligible for parole, according to Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman.
"In cases like this that are so evil, so horrific as far as the facts go, I think, the judge saw that and he did again what I think was the right thing, guaranteeing that he will never be able to hurt another man, woman or child for the rest of his life," Wildman said.
The charges stem from a search warrant conducted in June of 2023 at a home on Grant Street based on a tip from the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children that traced back to the residence.
During the search warrant, the eight-year-old victim was present and was taken into custody by the Trumbull County Children Services Board.
That victim's family gave an impact statement before sentencing.
"We have all suffered mentally and emotionally due to the nature of the crimes committed by this monster. My nephew was an innocent active carefree loving child who trusted and loved people unconditionally. That has now been ripped away from him and his family because of Stephen’s actions, he took that trust and faith in people away from all of us. It breaks my heart knowing how this trauma will affect my innocent nephew for the rest of his life. As I stated he was a carefree loving and trusting child and this trauma can now cause him the inability to express all of those characteristics in every type of relationship he forms throughout the rest of his life. It sickens me knowing that Stephen has taken that from him and taken that from all of us. We are asking that you sentence Stephen Billock to the maximum sentence of 60 years to life to ensure that no other child or family will ever have to endure this pain or trauma again."
Assistant Prosecutor, Gabe Wildman described this case as one of the worst child pornography cases he's seen.