Thursday, November 27, 2008

Predator who tried to lure woman using free Ipod sentenced to 15 years with 7 1/2 to serve

A sexual offender who attempted to rape a woman using a Craiglist listing for a free Ipod was sentenced to 15 years with 7 ½ to serve in Idaho’s Fourth District Court in Boise November 19. Stephen Newman, 33, was convicted of the attempted rape of Gretchen Hellar, then 28 this July.

[Hellar] responded to the ad in July 2007 but became suspicious when Newman told her to go to a porta potty at McDevitt Park off Eagle Road after dark to claim the iPod. She alerted police when she noticed a vehicle in the park. Police came and questioned Newman. They found a stocking cap, knife, bb gun, gloves and other items to tie someone up. Prosecutors called her actions heroic.

During the trial, a computer forensic expert found simulated rape videos on Newman's laptop, and some videos including himself.

Prosecutor Shelley Armstrong stated that the rape videos foreshadowed the luring incident, and that Newman wanted to rape a real victim. Before sentencing, Newman apologized for letting his sexual fantasies get out of control.

“I would just like deeply apologize to everybody that I hurt. I know that I have problem with sexual addiction and fantasies and that lead to this issue, and I'm anxious to get help," he said in front of an audience including his parents. The presiding judge was Fourth District Court Judge Mike Wetherell.

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