Bradford R. Fenocchio
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: April 8, 2009
Public information Officer
Acting Assistant District Attorney
A 60-year-old man with a history of child molestation was sentenced today by a Placer County judge to 16 years in state prison for committing lewd acts upon an eight-year-old Rocklin girl.
Steven Eugene Hesson, a registered sex offender, was given the term by Superior Court Judge J. Richard Couzens, who also ordered him to pay restitution penalties of $10,000.
The court proceeding included the reading of an impact statement by a 29-year-old woman who said she too was molested by Hesson when she was four years old. Her case was dismissed at the time because the judge deemed she was too young to give competent testimony.
“Words cannot explain the emotional pain my mind and body have gone through,” the woman told the court, adding that Hesson had “robbed me of my childhood innocence.”
“I don’t understand why anyone would want to leave a scar this big on anyone. I wanted to pretend like it never happened to me and tried to repress it and put it in a dark corner in my mind.”
The woman said she has suffered from stress, depression, anger, nightmares and drug problems and that she doesn’t trust people.
Placer County Deputy District Attorney Jeff Wood said the woman had waited 25 years to tell her story.
“Hopefully, this will bring some closure for her,” he said.
Wood said Hesson served a six-year prison sentence in 1984 for child molestation. Ironically, it was Judge Couzens who sentenced him in that case, he said.
In the more recent case, Rocklin police arrested Hesson on Sept. 24 after investigating a molestation report in which the defendant, who was renting a room at another man’s home, volunteered to babysit the eight-year-old girl when her father left the house because of an emergency.
Hesson entered a plea of guilty to two counts of child molestation on March 18.