BOISE, Idaho — A Boise man who masturbated in front of elementary-aged children as they walked home from school was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison.
Steven Roach, 62, will spend at least a decade behind bars before he can become eligible for parole. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and have no contact with minors.
Roach was arrested in January after Boise Police received a report of an unknown man following students home from an elementary school. Officers responded and spotted the suspect "engaging in stalking behaviors" near the school.
According to the prosecutor's office, Roach's pants were undone and he was exposing himself when police approached him.
Roach was taken into custody and initially charged with first-degree stalking and misdemeanor indecent exposure. But as the investigation continued, detectives learned about other stalking incidents involving the man, including an incident in which Roach exposed himself and masturbated in front of two young children as they walked home.
The Ada County Prosecutor's Office ultimately filed eight felony counts of stalking in the first degree, sexual abuse of a minor under 16, and attempted sexual abuse of a minor against Roach.
He pleaded guilty in March to one count of stalking and one count of sexual abuse.
Prosecutors say Roach was previously convicted of indecent exposure in 1985, 1989 and 2006, and noted that he was deemed a high risk to reoffend. The defendant himself admitted that he had exposed himself to at least 100 people over the last 45 years, according to the prosecutor's office.
Judge Steven Hippler also said he believed Roach was likely to reoffend if he was not punished, and added that the defendant had inflicted trauma on the victims “that will be long-lasting if not life-lasting."
“Thank you to the Boise Police Officers who investigated these crimes, which helped my office ensure justice was served and helped us keep our community safe,” Ada County Prosecutor Jan M. Bennetts said in a statement.