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Newfield man sentenced for child sex abuse

In Tompkins County Court, Stephan Starks, a 74-year-old man from Newfield, received a 10-year prison sentence after admitting to sexually abusing a child under the age of 13 over several years. The conviction on first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child led to his sentencing by Judge Scott Miller, as announced by District Attorney Matthew Van Houten. Following his prison term, Starks is mandated to undergo 20 years of post-release supervision.


Starks was apprehended last year and entered a guilty plea this January, acknowledging the repeated sexual contact with the child across a multi-year span. This crime is classified under New York’s criminal code as a violent felony, carrying a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 25 years in prison due to its repeated nature over a minimum of three months.

The case, overseen by Assistant District Attorney Heidi S. Paulino with defense by Ithaca attorney Jerome Mayersak, highlights the legal system’s commitment to addressing and penalizing such egregious acts. District Attorney Van Houten expressed hope that the sentencing would contribute to the healing process for the victim and their family, underlining the community’s intolerance for child abuse.