ELYRIA — A Lorain man who used hidden cameras at his Wilson Street home to photograph underage girls has pleaded guilty Wednesday to an 18-count indictment.
Steve Dittmer, 26, was charged with tampering with evidence, eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and three counts that charged him with providing alcohol to minors.
Police began investigating Dittmer and his wife, Brittany Dittmer — who pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor contributing and alcohol charges — after one of the girls complained to officers that she had discovered a video camera hidden in the smoke detector in the bathroom.
Although officers couldn’t determine if that camera was hooked up, they did find several other cameras around the house, which they were told were for “security purposes,” according to prosecutors.
They also found still photos of at least three girls in their mid-teens exposing themselves. Dittmer was accused of sharing those photos with visitors to his home.
Dittmer had also removed the hard drive from his computer, damaging it in the process, before he turned it over to investigators.
Prosecutors have said Brittany Dittmer, who was placed on one year probation after her plea, knew one of the girls and the couple used that relationship to get other girls to come over to the house and drink.
The victims, who were in the courtroom for the conclusion of Steve Dittmer’s plea hearing before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers, declined to comment. Dittmer also declined to comment.
“He regrets being involved in this activity,” said Mike Duff, Dittmer’s attorney.
Dittmer could get more than 15 years behind bars when he is sentenced later this year.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.