By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – A Lindsay man busted in a Canadian County sheriff’s online sting is now a convicted sex offender.
Steven Wesley Hill II, 31, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful communication by use of technology during a Jan. 6 hearing in Canadian County District Court.
Under a plea agreement, Special Judge Khristan Strubhar gave Hill a 10-year suspended sentence except for the first two years to serve in the state Department of Corrections.
Judge Strubhar ordered the defendant to be supervised by the DOC and comply with rules and conditions of supervised probation after his release from prison. He was ordered to pay a fine, victim’s compensation assessment and court costs.
Hill was facing up to 10 years in prison and/or a maximum $10,000 fine.
The defendant originally was charged with making lewd proposals to a child under 16, a crime punishable by three to 20 years in prison. The charge was amended to unlawful communication by use of technology.
Hill was represented by public defender Craig Corgan. Assistant District Attorney Austin T. Murrey prosecuted the case.
SOCIAL MEDIA WAS DOWNFALL
Hill was caught during an undercover investigation by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.
Hill had sent electronically generated lewd proposals to an undercover sheriff’s deputy he believed to be under age 16 “to have unlawful sexual relations,” court documents show.
Deputy Chelsea Adkins, a certified computer forensics examiner assigned to work child exploitation cases, conducted the undercover investigation on Nov. 7, 2019 using Facebook. She portrayed herself as a 14-year-old female from the Oklahoma City area of Canadian County.
She was contacted by Hill at 10:03 a.m. that day through Facebook Messenger, court records indicate.
“Hill advised he is 30 years old,” according to a probable cause affidavit signed by deputy Adkins. “I immediately advised Hill I am 14 years old.
“Hill stated ‘wow this is jail time’ but continued the conversation.”
That statement would prove prophetic.
The chat between the defendant and the sheriff’s investigator (posing as the minor girl) immediately became sexually graphic after it moved to the Hangouts app, according to the deputy’s affidavit.
Hill allegedly sent a picture of his private parts and a lewd video after asking for a sexually suggestive video of her.
Deputy Atkins made a screen recording on her undercover cellular device of the Hangouts conversation. The sheriff’s investigator on Dec. 2, 2019 positively identified Hill during a video chat.
Hill was formally charged March 18 and was arrested June 30, 2020, when he was booked into the Canadian County Jail in El Reno.