Lebanon man denied treatment rather than conviction on 29 child porn charges

Edward Studebaker of Lebanon was denied treatment in lieu of conviction on 29 child porn  charges. He is pictured waiting while his lawyer, Steve Kilburn, reviews court documents.
Caption
Edward Studebaker of Lebanon was denied treatment in lieu of conviction on 29 child porn charges. He is pictured waiting while his lawyer, Steve Kilburn, reviews court documents.

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Credit: Lawrence Budd

A Lebanon man facing 29 child pornography charges was denied treatment in lieu of to conviction during a hearing Tuesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Donald Oda II denied a motion by Edward L. Studebaker’s lawyer that urged Oda to order Studebaker to complete treatment, rather than face felony conviction and potentially prison in the case.

Studebaker, 30, was indicted in April on five counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and 24 counts of illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance between Nov. 21, 2019, and Jan.18, 2020.

Studebaker “downloaded onto his computer a file with images of child pornography, transferred them to his cell phone, then uploaded them to his Google account,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Tuesday in a text message.

The case was another one investigated by an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force employing high-tech tools to fight child porn.

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During Tuesday’s hearing, Oda ruled Studebaker’s case wasn’t “appropriate” after agreeing with defense lawyer Steve Kilburn that it was eligible for consideration for alternative sentencing.

“I don’t believe the offense is eligible,” Assistant County Prosecutor Travis Vieux said, “for him in particular, given the information in the ILC report.”

Vieux did not elaborate on the report contents and the report is not a public record.

Vieux said he objected to considering the child porn case, which could include prison, as well as sex offender registration, for a sentence short of conviction “as a public policy.”

“The public has a right,” Vieux said.

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Studebaker has no criminal record, works and is married with two children, Kilburn said.

In addition, Studebaker has a “long history of mental illness” triggered by abuse as a child, Kilburn said.

“It is a way he dealt with it,” Kilburn said. “He should be given the benefit of the doubt.”

Kilburn said Oda should have “no tolerance” if Studebaker failed to meet the conditions of his probation and said Studebaker wanted to get help for his problems.

“I am remorseful for what I’ve done,” Studebaker said. “I ask that you give me a chance. You won’t hear my name in a bad term ever again.”

Oda denied the motion and scheduled a pretrial for Sept. 2.

Studebaker, who served two days in jail after his arrest in January, remained free Tuesday on $30,000 bond.

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