A former Hillsboro shop teacher convicted of sexual imposition was sentenced on Thursday to 60 days in the county jail, 60 days suspended jail time, and five years of probation.
Steven Holland, 36, who was fired from his position as a shop teacher at the Hillsboro City Schools and lost his teaching license after being convicted in February, was stoic during his sentencing hearing, even as a family member of his two victims read a statement saying Holland had “violated our whole family.”
As previously reported, a jury in February found Holland guilty of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor. Holland was found not guilty of a more severe charge, felony sexual battery, on a legal technicality related to the nature of Holland’s relationship with his victims.
The victims, one of whom is still a juvenile, testified at the trial that Holland groped them at separate times when each was alone with him at his home, and that the incidents spanned over years. The sexual battery charge was filed in regard to a more inappropriate form of touching that the elder victim said took place in Holland’s garage in 2010.
The Times-Gazette typically does not identify victims of sex crimes.
The elder victim appeared at the hearing Thursday, and Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins read a written statement on her behalf.
In the statement, the victim described Holland as a “master manipulator,” and said his “disgusting acts” had left her with “anger, sadness and anxiety.”
The victim said she struggled with coming forward because she knew it would hurt her family members and friends, and ever since she did, it “feels like a death in our family.”
The victim also said she believes “we are not alone,” and that any girl over the age of 13 could be one of his victims.
Collins said Holland had “violated these girls in the worst way possible,” and then told authorities that the older victim was just jealous because he had touched the younger victim as well.
“I just think that speaks volumes for his lack of remorse and … his character,” she said.
Attorney J.D. Wagoner, representing Holland, said his client has no criminal record besides routine traffic violations, and requested that Judge Rocky Coss be lenient.
Coss sentenced Holland to five years of community control sanctions, as well as 60 days in jail and 60 more days suspended time, telling family and supporters on both sides of the courtroom that he would have sentenced Holland to the maximum amount of prison time if state law allowed.
The judge also criticized Holland for apparently lacking remorse after he gave Holland an opportunity to speak and Holland declined.
“That’s very disappointing,” the judge said, adding that Holland also declined to give a statement to investigators in a presentence investigation, and that his behavior showed he did not take responsibility for his actions.
Coss said Holland has “a serious problem,” and that sex offenders often have victims in addition to those who come forward.
As part of the sentence, Coss ordered Holland to complete any recommended mental health and sex offender treatment.
The judge ordered Holland to have no unsupervised conduct with female juveniles except his infant daughter.
Holland, who resides in the Sinking Spring area, is now required to register as a Tier I sex offender for the next 15 years.
Holland was taken into custody after the hearing and is now incarcerated at the Highland County Jail.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.