LIMA — The second of two same-sex foster parents charged with sexually abusing young children in their care faces a potential maximum prison term of 95 years following his guilty pleas to 16 different felony charges.
In return for those pleas that were entered Thursday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court, prosecutors dismissed 46 additional counts — including rape — against 40-year-old Lima resident Scott Steffes.
During a hearing Thursday morning before Judge Jeffrey Reed, Steffes entered guilty pleas to five counts of felonious assault, all second-degree felonies, and 11 counts of sexual battery, all felonies of the third degree.
Steffes is scheduled to be sentenced March 10 as a Tier 3 sex offender.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Destiny Caldwell said the state of Ohio will make no specific sentencing recommendations at that time.
The sexual battery counts carry maximum prison terms of 60 months while the sentencing range for the felonious assault charges is between two and eight years behind bars.
Steffes was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in July of 2020 with two counts of suspicion of rape, 25 counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, 28 counts of sexual battery, six counts of felonious assault and a single count of tampering with evidence.
Jeremy Kindle, 45, a co-defendant in the case and Steffes’ domestic partner, was indicted on 65 similar counts after prosecutors alleged the two had engaged in sexual conduct with foster children in their care over a series of incidents that took place between 2016 and 2020.
Kindle, 35, pleaded guilty in December to five counts of felonious assaults and nine counts of sexual battery, all felonies of the second degree; and five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and a single count of tampering with evidence, all third-degree felonies.
Kindle was sentenced earlier this month to 94 years in prison after accepting a plea deal from prosecutors and pleading guilty to 20 sex-related crimes.
Both Steffes and Kindle were infected with the virus that causes AIDS at the time of the sexual assaults, according to the indictments.
The arrests of Steffes and Kindle also led to the termination of Cynthia Scanland as the executive director of the Allen County Children Services. Scanland currently faces felony charges of suspicion of tampering with records and obstructing official business and a misdemeanor count of dereliction of duty connected with the incidents.