An Arizona man convicted last week of child exploitation and attempted child molestation was sentenced Thursday on the final count of his guilty verdict.
Steven Randall Schlesselman, of Maricopa County, was given 15 years probation during a sentencing hearing Thursday for one count of child exploitation. Combined with his sentence last week for attempted child molestation, Schlesselman faces seven years in prison and eight years on probation.
"It’s important he be punished for his actions and probated so somebody is looking over his shoulder," said Effingham County assistant district attorney Ben Edwards, who prosecuted the case. "In this case, he’ll go to prison, and he’ll be supervised once he gets out."
Schlesselman was arrested at a gas station at the intersection of Highway 17 and Midland Road, after flying from Phoenix to Atlanta and renting a car to drive to Effingham for what he presumed was going to be a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.
An Effingham County Sheriff’s Office detective, posing as the mother of that fictitious 14-year-old girl, made contact with Schlesselman and offered him sex with the girl for $175.
Schlesselman made contact with the undercover agent and was already on Interstate 16 and eventually ended up at Highway 17 and Honey Ridge Road before he was directed to go Midland and 17, where ECSO deputies made the arrest.
Jurors took two hours to deliberate before making their decision last week.