He also entered a plea in federal court earlier this week.
Frederick, Md (KM) In Frederick County Circuit Court on Thursday, a Brunswick man pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. William Henry Steinhaus IV, 34, entered a guilty plea to a similar offense earlier this week in federal court.
State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says Steinhaus exchanged information on a messaging app known as Kik with other people depicting sexually explicit conduct with a two-year-old girl. “That had to do with him taking photos of the two-year-old engaged in sexual conduct. He would text those to other people who had sexual interest in children. He would share the pictures,” says Smith. In some of these pictures, Steinhaus showed himself engaging in sexual conduct with the victim, says Smith.
Between December 8th and 9th, 2014, federal officials say Steinhaus distributed these pictures to about 25 individuals. In addition, he exchanged 419 messages on Kik with an undercover police officer.
Steinhaus was arrested on December 9th. The State’s Attorney’s Office says the Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance outside of his home. An undercover officer used a ruse to get Steinhaus to come outside. When he did, police identified themselves and proceeded to take Steinhaus into custody. There was struggle as authorities tried to get his iPhone.
In US District Court in Baltimore earlier this week, Steinhaus pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. He’s expected to be sentenced on that offense on February 24th, 2017. Federal officials say Steinhaus could get between 23 and 38 years in prison, be placed on lifetime supervised release, and be required to register as a sex offender.
He will be sentenced in Circuit Court in Frederick on March 21st, 2017. Smith says the sentence will be consecutive with the federal sentence. “We want to ensure that he spends at least 40-years actually incarcerated,” says Smith. “I’m not talking about any of this parole stuff or getting out of jail early. We want see that he goes to jail and serves 40-years of jail time.”
Smith also says these cases can be “disturbing.” “You’re talking about a two-year old, really,” he says. “Sometimes when I think I’ve seen everything, I see a case like this.”
By Kevin McManus