Judge Sentences Sex Offender to Seven Years Prison

Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:08 AM

JUDGE SENTENCES SEX OFFENDER TO SEVEN YEARS PRISON FOR TRAVELING TO MEET MINOR FOR SEX

(Cocoa, FL)—A 58-year-old man was recently sentenced to 7-years in prison for his attempts to lure a child for sex. Steven Bernhard, (DOB 03/11/1959), entered a plea to one count of unlawful travel to meet a minor for sex and was adjudicated guilty on July 19th. As a result of his conviction, he will be a registered sex offender. He will also be required to serve 8 years of sex offender probation upon completion of his prison sentence.

In early January, Bernhard made online contact with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl and arranged to travel from Melbourne to meet her for sex. In online conversations with the girl he was specific in the sexual activity he wished to engage in with her. The meet time and location were agreed upon and officers were able to arrest the suspect when he arrived. “I’m satisfied with the sentence imposed,” said Detective Debra Titkanich. “These child predators have a significant online presence and as long as that is the case, we will continue to have our own online presence in order to prevent them from finding a true victim.”

The following is the case disposition summary:

DISPOSITION DATE: 07/19/2017

Disposition Information: Defendant pled to ct1 - Unlawful Travel to Meet a Minor. State entered a Nolle Prosequi as to Count 2 - Computer Solicitation of Child. The defendant was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to submit to a DNA sample, 7 years Department of Corrections, 8 years sex offender probation, 7 day(s) credit for time served, concurrent with any active sentence and all counts, fines and court costs made a condition of probation, sex offender conditions: 31, 32, no contact with the victim on any form of social media; no comments or responses to third parties, about the victim on any form of social media, search of any computer(s) or electronic device(s) that is used by the defendant upon request by P&P, the defendant is prohibited from viewing, accessing, owning, or possessing any obscene,, treatment plan by a qualified practitioner in the sexual offender treatment program visual or auditory material includes, but is not limited to telephone, electronic media, computer programs, and computer services, the defendant shall not distribute candy or other items to children on Halloween; wearing a Santa Clause costume, or other costume to appeal to children on or preceding Christmas; wearing an Easter Bunny costume, or other costume to appeal to children, on or preceding Easter; entertaining at children's parties; or wearing clown costumes; without prior approval from the court, the defendant shall not visit schools, child care facilities, parks, and playgrounds, without prior approval from the offender's supervising officer defendant will not reside or stay overnight in any accommodations where a child under the age of 18 is residing or spending the night, submit to electronic monitoring , follow the rules of electronic monitoring, pay per month for cost of monitoring, to pay investigative costs of $227.00 to Cocoa Police Department and to pay cost of prosecution in the amount of $100.00