Convicted child molester declared sexually violent predator and sentenced to 15 to 30 years in state prison

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Stephen Carruthers

HARRISBURG, Pa. –     Stephen Carruthers, 56, of Susquehanna Township, was sentenced in Dauphin County Court yesterday, to 15 to 30 years in state prison for sexually molesting a minor girl over a period of 8 years. Carruthers was convicted by a jury on October 29, 2014, after a three day trial.

Carruthers, molested the victim when she was between the ages of 4 to 12 years old while she was visiting his home. The victim revealed the abuse to a family member when she was 13 years old. She described during her testimony how she was too frightened to tell anyone about the hundreds of incidents of sexual abuse she suffered during the 8 year period while the abuse was happening because of death threats that Carruthers made towards her and her family members.

Carruthers was sentenced on the charges of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child, Aggravated Indecent Assault of a Child, Indecent Assault, Indecent Exposure, Corruption of a Minor, Unlawful Contact with a Minor and Terroristic Threats. In addition to the lengthy prison sentence,  Carruthers was also sentenced to a consecutive 20 year term of probation.

Prior to sentencing Judge William Tully, designated Carruthers as a Sexually Violent Predator under Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law. By designating Carruthers as a Sexually Violent Predator, Judge Tully ensured that if Carruthers is ever released from prison in the future, the police will go door to door notifying his neighbors that he has moved into their neighborhood.

The victim spoke prior to Carruther’s sentencing and pleaded for a lengthy incarceration. She explained the toll and impact that Carruther’s molestation has had on her life. She told Judge Tully about the numerous letters and other items Carruthers has sent to her since his arrest and how each time he tries to contact her it reopens the memories of her ordeal.

At trial it was revealed that Carruthers, despite being ordered by the court to have no contact with his victim, had written hundreds of letters to her. When Carruthers was confronted at trial during cross-examination by Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack about letters that Carruthers wrote to his victim from prison after his arrest on the charges, Carruthers got upset and boasted that the District Attorney only had a fraction of the letters he had written to her. He then told the jury that he had written over 300 letters to the victim and that no one had the right to prevent him from writing her. Last October, during cross-examination of Carruthers at trial, McCormack pressed Carruthers about his abuse of the victim. Carruthers at that time accused McCormack of blaspheming the relationship he had with the girl.

Carruthers was equally defiant during his sentencing. Judge Tully commented during the sentencing procedings that Carruthers actions were attempts to manipulate his victim and court officials. Carruthers told Judge Tully that he attended Princeton University and that he was admitted into United States Air Force Academy. It was revealed later during the hearing that while Carruthers may have attended those institutions, he never graduated from any of them. It was further revealed that Carruthers worked for approximately 13 years as a mall Santa Claus at various Central Pennsylvania malls. Carruthers also told the court at his sentencing that he is currently seeking a publisher for a children’s book he has written.