Victims’ mother: Sitter in sex case ‘violated’ trust

JANELLE PATTERSON   The Marietta Times
Kenneth Siders sits on the witness stand in Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi’s courtroom Wednesday to hear the parameters of being a registered Tier II sex offender.

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Kenneth Siders sits on the witness stand in Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi’s courtroom Wednesday to hear the parameters of being a registered Tier II sex offender.

A sexual predator from Belpre was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Kenneth Dale Siders, 68, of 347 Everson Road, Belpre, was indicted in October for six felonies:

¯ One count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, a second-degree felony.

¯ Two counts of gross sexual imposition, both third-degree felonies.

¯ Two second-degree felony counts of pandering sexually-oriented material or performance.

¯ One additional count of pandering obscenity, a fourth-degree felony.

Siders was arrested by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in August after an investigation into his actions with one of the two siblings he was tasked with babysitting.

Investigators found child pornography downloaded from the internet as well as videos and still photographs of one of the children he was babysitting on a series of phones, computers and external hard drives. The girl was 11 and 12 at the time. All electronic devices with those materials were forfeited to the custody of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to be destroyed Wednesday.

Siders pleaded guilty to both counts of gross sexual imposition, one second-degree felony count of pandering, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material Tuesday and the prosecution dropped the two additional charges of pandering.

“We arrived at the 10-year number given his age and health,” said Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings. “By the time he gets out he won’t be able to hurt anybody.”

Siders entered the court wearing a breathing tube and dragging an oxygen tank and at one point during sentencing while Judge Mark Kerenyi explained the parameters of Siders’ designation as a Tier II Sex Offender, moved closer to the bench in order to hear.

Siders made no comment during the hearing Wednesday but his victims’ mother did have something to add before sentencing.

“My daughters’ innocence is taken away,” she said. “One is having nightmares and not sleeping at all and they are in counseling.”

She explained that Siders was a trusted neighbor that watched her daughters and she had no indication in the six months she had known him what he was doing to her daughters.

“A lot of these instances happened while she was at work and the defendant was trusted with watching her children,” explained Rings.

Rings said the evidence indicated Siders’ attention was more focused on the older of the two daughters, noting the naming of photographs and the videos found centered on that child.

“This one hit me hard because she’s really close to my daughter’s age,” Rings said of the victim, who only recently has turned 13. Siders won’t see freedom before Aug. 23, 2027 and was given 79 days of credit towards his sentence since he has remained incarcerated in the Washington County Jail since Aug. 22.

The maximum sentence Siders could have received was 23.5 years.

At a glance

¯ Kenneth Dale Siders, 68, of 347 Everson Road, Belpre, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday.

¯ Siders pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of gross sexual imposition, both third-degree felonies, one second-degree felony count of pandering sexually oriented material or performance and one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, a second-degree felony.

¯ Siders faced up to 23.5 years in prison.

Source: Washington County Court of Common Pleas.

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