By Danae Snell
SACRAMENTO — Defendant Steven Seteroff had a substantial number of charges to plead to here in Sacramento County Superior Court this week—in the end, he pleaded no contest to every single charge from not one of his open cases, but all three of his active cases.
Judge James Arguelles set the next hearing, before sentencing, for Feb. 26, 10 a.m. in Dept. 16. The defendant, convicted on two felonies and two misdemeanors, faces the possibility of up to five years and eight months of incarceration.
During the year of 2020, Seteroff stalked, harassed and threatened the same victim on numerous encounters, which led to three separate charging complaints.
His actions were more than just an average stalking and harassment usually seen with these types of cases, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Maroun:
“Between March 15 and May 19 2020, the defendant committed a felony violation of PC 646.9(b) in that the defendant willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed and harassed the victim and made incredible threats with the intent that she would be placed in reasonable fear for her safety and the safety of her family.”
Maroun added that “the defendant repeatedly went to her house and left multiple notes indicating that she needed to drop the restraining order or else her life would be in serious harm and other people will beat her up.”
Within these couple of months, defendant Seteroff allegedly sent hundreds of text messages and tried hundreds of missed calls. He would also change his phone number and then leave various voicemails to the point where the victim’s voicemail inbox would be constantly full.
“During this period of time there was a temporary restraining order that prohibited him from having any contact with her,” added DDA Maroun, who said the restraining order was issued March 6, 2020, after “the defendant committed a misdemeanor violation … willfully, unlawfully and intentionally distributed the image of the intimate body parts of another person that was identifiable under circumstances in which that person in which that person agreed that those images were to remain private.”
Defendant Seteroff, the DDA said, distributed multiple images without the victim’s consent and caused her serious emotional stress: “Specifically what occurred is that the defendant videotaped a sexual act between him and the victim, and the victim was not aware that she was being videotaped … At a later date, the defendant distributed these images. Specifically he took pictures from this video and posted them in her neighborhood for neighbors to see without her permission.”
Moreover, this was not the first incident involving the illegal distribution of the victim’s intimate body parts by the defendant.
In 2019, he also took photos of the victim that showed her “intimate body parts and distributed them to neighbors and family members without her permission,” the DDA argued.
The harassment did not stop here. The defendant would also appear at her work and would try to intimate her. Additionally, he “tried to get her to lose her job by repeatedly contacting her employer.”
The harassment continued further into the year between May 31 and July 22 when Defendant Seteroff once again “committed a felony violation of PC 646.9 that the defendant willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed and harassed the victim and made incredible threats with the intent that she would be placed in reasonable fear for her safety and the safety of her family.”
According to DDA Maroun, “During this period of time there was a lapse in the restraining order because of the COVID protocols that went into place.” Although the restraining order was affected by the pandemic, the defendant stood aware “that the victim wanted absolutely no contact with him, but he continued to repeatedly contact her, call her, and text her.”
This, charged the prosecution, included “over 500 text messages, 138 emails, 25 letters and cards left at her house, 24 text messages to her son, over 30 calls to her daughter,” and constant reminders that he is “vengeful and dangerous,” stemming from his belief “that she needed to change her opinion about him and that she ruined his life so he was going to ruin her life.”
Danae Snell is a senior at Sacramento State majoring in Criminal Justice and is from Salinas, California.
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