Former Wisconsin prosecutor sentenced for secretly recording sexual encounters

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Posted at 9:50 AM, Jul 25, 2023

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge sentenced a former Wisconsin prosecutor to 18 months in prison Monday for secretly recording sexual encounters with two women, including one he was prosecuting in a restraining order case.

A jury found former Burnett County District Attorney Daniel Steffen guilty in April of three counts of capturing an intimate representation depicting nudity. St. Croix County Circuit Judge Scott Nordstrand handed down the sentence.

A state Department of Justice agent began investigating Steffen in early 2020, according to the criminal complaint in the case. A witness told the agent that a woman the witness knew had openly talked about having sex with Steffen in exchange for leniency on her pending criminal cases.

The woman told the agent she had only met Steffen a couple times in court and denied having a relationship with him. She said she had several cases pending and ended up paying a fine. A few months, later she acknowledged a relationship with Steffen, saying she was facing charges for violating a restraining order and he was prosecuting her.

Investigators searched Steffen's home in October 2020 and found an iPad in his dresser, according to the criminal complaint. On the iPad were videos of Steffen having sex with the woman in August and September of 2018. The woman told investigators she wasn't aware he was filming them.

Also on the iPad was another video of Steffen having sex with another woman earlier in 2018. They could be heard talking about how she could avoid charges for hitting a mailbox. She told investigators she wasn't aware he was filming them.

Nordstrand, the judge, also ordered Steffen to serve two years of extended supervision and four years on probation after he gets out of prison.

Steffen's attorney, listed in online court records as Minneapolis-based Eric Nelson, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Monday afternoon.