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Steininger accepts plea bargain in sex-abuse case

CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE  - Curt SteiningerFormer Estacada city councilor Curt Steininger pleaded no contest to multiple charges of first-degree sex abuse of a child and first-degree encouraging sex abuse of a child.

On Tuesday, July 12, at the Clackamas County Circuit Court, Steininger accepted a plea bargain; if the plea is accepted by the court, he could spend eight years in prison.

In total, Steininger pleaded no contest to four counts of first-degree sex abuse of a child and five counts of first-degree encouraging sex abuse of a child.

In 2014, Steininger was indicted on eight counts for allegedly molesting a girl under the age of 14 during a period between September 2008 and January 2014.

He was later charged with 20 counts of encouraging child sex abuse for alleged duplication of child pornography between February and December 2013, and 20 counts of encouraging child sex abuse for possession of child pornography between December 2012 and October 2015.

Initially, Steininger planned to plead not guilty to the abuse charges.

“All I can say is I love my kids with all my heart and nothing will stop me from trying to get custody of them,” he told the Estacada News in 2014.

The court will review Steininger’s plea bargain and come to a decision on Tuesday, Aug. 16. If the plea is accepted, sentencing will also take place at that time. In the interim, the court instituted a no contact order between Steininger and the victim’s family.

Richard Cohen, Steininger’s lawyer, said the court would likely accept the plea.

“The odds are small, but if the court chooses not to accept the plea after reviewing the contract, the plea will be withdrawn and the case will go to trial,” he said.

Cohen and Steininger declined to comment further.

Steininger moved to Estacada in 2006 and was elected to the City Council in 2012. He resigned from the council in April of 2014, citing other commitments.