A Paso Robles man who admitted to viewing and downloading child pornography for the past 30 years was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.
Steven Martin Lindhorst, 53, pleaded no contest the same day to two felonies — lewd act with a child under the age of 14 and possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct.
The case arose when Lindhorst's wife of 13 years caught him viewing sexually suggestive poses of girls aged 13 to 15 on his computer. She also found what appeared to be girl’s underwear in a drawer next to the computer.
While his computer was password protected, the wife took it to the Paso Robles police department. In an effort to prevent his wife from moving out, Lindhorst later confessed to his elders at the Jehovah's Witnesses Church, according to court records, telling them he was not turned on by adult women.
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Lindhorst, who is no longer a member of the church, told police he had been viewing and downloading child pornography since 1986. The Paso Robles police said Lindhorst had thousands of photos and more than 200 videos on his computer that showed pubescent children engaging in sex acts.
Some of them appeared to be manufactured by Lindhorst, according to the police, and in one video he appeared to be molesting a young girl, according to a prosecution motion filed in court.
Lindhorst will be given credit for 238 days served.
Because of his conviction he will also be required to register as a sex offender the rest of his life under the state's Megan's Law.