Posted Mar 01, 2011 01:46 am CST
At least three mothers have been arrested and criminally charged in connection with a Michigan man’s alleged scheme to trick them into providing him with pornographic images of their children under the guise of providing therapy.
Meanwhile, Steven Demink, 41, pleaded guilty in federal court in Detroit today to six criminal charges concerning the sexual exploitation of children, reports the Associated Press. Seven other charges were dropped. He faces as much as 15 years to life when he is sentenced.
Sometimes presenting himself as a potential date, Demink targeted single mothers and described himself as a psychologist. He allegedly coerced and enticed moms to involve themselves in sexual acts with their own children and then send him photos by e-mail or streaming video, persuading them that this was a form of therapy that would benefit their children. The children were between 3 and 15, court documents say.
The charged women are from Florida, Idaho and New Hampshire, and Demink reportedly had contact with women in at least four other states, too.
A WJBK article provides additional details and says that Demink, a car salesman, formerly had a federal law enforcement job in customs and immigration.
“The victims are devastated. The families are devastated,” says attorney Timothy Dinan, who represents Demink and says he is very remorseful. “The Demink family … is very sympathetic to their position. They pray for those children and they pray for their son that he find some sort of redemption sometime.”
Additional and related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: “$6.1 M Award in McDonald’s Strip Search”
Detroit Free Press: “Guilty plea due for Redford man who convinced mothers to molest their children”
Detroit News: “Alleged sexual Svengali to plead guilty”