Screenshot of WQOW News 18 YouTube video (Featured: Daniel Steffen)
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A former district attorney in Wisconsin will spend more than a year behind bars after he was convicted of filming sexual encounters with women who did not know they had been recorded. At least one of the women was a female defendant whose case the man was handling.
According to reports, 52-year-old Daniel Steffen secretly recorded sexual encounters with two separate victims back in 2018 when he was then an assistant district attorney for Burnett County, Wisconsin, which is located along the state's northwestern border with Minnesota.
An investigation into Steffen's private life began in early 2020, when the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation received a tip about a woman who "openly talked about having sexual relations with a Burnett County Assistant District Attorney (ADA) in exchange for leniency on criminal cases the female had pending in Burnett County," a court document said. The woman, later identified only as Victim #1, eventually admitted to investigators that she had met Steffen in his office in 2018 after she had been accused of violating a restraining order that the father of her child had obtained against her.
After that initial meeting in Steffen's office, Victim #1 claimed that he gave her his personal phone number and that after several days of text messaging one another, the two had had sex at his home. She claimed that they had been intimate on a number of occasions at his home, her home, and at his office "during work hours," the court document said. The woman said that, despite having "several cases pending," she "ended up having to pay a fine."
During an investigation into their alleged relationship, law enforcement seized, among other items, an iPad from Steffen's master bedroom. On the iPad were two videos of sexual encounters between Steffen and Victim #1. According to reports, in each instance, Steffen can be seen deliberately placing the camera so that it would record the bed area. At one point during an encounter with Victim #1, Steffen looked directly at the camera, stuck his tongue out, and winked "several times," prosecutors claimed.
During this encounter, Steffen can also be heard repeatedly asking Victim #1, "Who's in charge?" to which Victim #1 replied, "You're in charge." "That's my girl," Steffen then said, the court document said.
Victim #1 did admit that she had consented to recordings of other encounters with Steffen, but he had used his cellphone on those occasions. She claimed she did not consent to either of the videos recorded on the iPad, and the court document stated, "It does not appear that VICTIM #1 knew she was being recorded."
On the same iPad, investigators also found a recording of a woman, identified as Victim #2, from earlier that year. In February 2018, Steffen had positioned the iPad camera to record the bed and then reportedly filmed his encounter with Victim #2. While the two had sex, Steffen can be heard advising Victim #2 how she might "avoid criminal charges for hitting a mailbox," the court document said. As with Victim #1, it did "not appear that VICTIM #2 knew she was being recorded," the document alleged.
In April of this year, Steffen was convicted of three counts of representations depicting nudity. Though he faced more than 10 years behind bars, on Monday, he was sentenced to 18 months. After his release, he will serve two years of extended supervision and four years of probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender for at least five years, though some outlets have reported that he will have to register for 10 years. WQOW also reported that his law license has been suspended.
"As he should, the defendant will be serving time behind bars for the crimes he’s been convicted of," said Attorney General Josh Kaul. "Thank you to the team of criminal justice professionals who ensured that justice has been served in this case."
Former Burnett County assistant DA sentenced for filming nude videos without women's knowledgewww.youtube.com
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.