Man sentenced to probation in Boulder County, North Carolina child porn cases

·3 min read

May 16—A North Carolina man accused of having child pornography when he was taken into custody in Boulder on out-of-state warrants was sentenced to probation.

Kellen David Steckler, 22, pleaded guilty in March to a felony count of violating conditions of bond.

The plea deal included an agreement that Steckler would be sentenced to five years of sex offender intensive supervised probation, and on Friday Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra issued the stipulated sentence.

Boulder District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Shannon Carbone said Steckler also pleaded guilty in a North Carolina case and will serve probation on that case at the same time as his Boulder County sentence.

He will not be allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 while on probation will be required to register as a sex offender for 30 years.

"Our office worked in collaboration with prosecutors in North Carolina who were handling his sex offenses there," Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty stated. "Based on his conduct in North Carolina, as well as here in Colorado, our office wanted to ensure that this defendant would register as a sex offender and receive sex offender intensive supervised probation here in Colorado — in addition to his sentence in North Carolina. Because of the good work of law enforcement, we were able to secure that result."

The plea agreement did allow Sierra to issue a punitive sanction if she had chosen, and Carbone said prosecutors did ask for a work release sentence "due to the pattern of behavior he has exhibited and its effect on the community."

However, Sierra elected to only give Steckler time served and issue no further punitive measures, which was the recommendation given to the judge after a pre-sentence investigation.

"The court followed the recommendations of the Boulder Probation Department who carefully reviewed all the available information regarding both the underlying case and Mr. Steckler's individual characteristics and criminogenic needs to reach a fair sentence and ensure the safety of the community," Steckler's attorney Sarah Croog said in a statement. "Due to the very personal nature of some of this information, it is appropriately not available to the general public. But as someone with a full understanding of this case, this case is an example of the justice system and all of its components, including the District Attorney's Office, probation, and the judge, working together well to reach the right outcome."

Boulder police, while working with the U.S. Marshals Service, first arrested Steckler in August 2020 after authorities discovered he had ties to Boulder. Steckler had warrants out of North Carolina for suspicion of indecent liberties with a child, soliciting a child by computer and disseminating obscenity to a minor under the age of 13.

After Steckler was taken into custody, Boulder detectives executed several search warrants for his electronic devices.

During analysis of the devices, detectives located pictures and video files in the gallery of the device that were identified as child pornography.