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Former Hillsboro firefighter installed secret cameras in child’s bedroom, bathroom

By Web Staff

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    HILLSBORO, Oregon (KPTV) — A former Hillsboro Fire lieutenant was sentenced on Friday to 25 years in prison for raping a child and saving images of the abuse, the Washington Co. District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

According to the DA’s office, 52-year-old Steven Michael Klaus was found guilty of abusing a child for five years in Forest Grove and in California, starting when she was about 6 years old, and saved images of the abuse.

The investigation began in 2019 when the victim reported that Klaus had sexually abused her.

Detectives with the Forest Grove Police Department discovered surveillance footage on a computer used by Klaus, captured by hidden cameras he had installed in the victim’s bedroom and bathroom.

Klaus stored naked images of the victim in a folder on his computer labeled “Monitoring My Pet.”

The device also contained other child sex abuse images of this victim, as well as thousands of child sex abuse images and material unrelated to this victim.

At the defendant’s sentencing hearing, the victim described having to identify herself in nude images during the investigation.

“I will forever be robbed of my girlhood, but I won’t give up my right to joy,” the victim said. “No person is to be treated as a means to an end, but as an end to itself. Anything I accomplish in life will not be in spite of what you’ve done, it will be because of who I am.”

After a stipulated facts trial, Klaus was found guilty of:

Two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. Six counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Two counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct. Four counts of invasion of personal privacy.

Washington County Circuit Court Judge Erik Buchér sentenced Klaus to 25 years in prison. He will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.

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