SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CNS) - A Rotary Club member who molested three boys from abusive families, including two who lived with him in San Diego, was sentenced today to more than 179 years to life in prison.
Steven Meredith Bimson, 65, was convicted in September of 31 felony charges, including multiple counts of oral copulation of a child. The crimes occurred in the 1990s.
Judge Cynthia Bashant denied a defense motion for a new trial for Bimson, who was convicted in a retrial. The first prosecution ended with a mistrial after a juror revealed during deliberations that he had been the victim of an attempted molestation.
In her opening statement in the retrial, prosecutor Wendy Patrick Mazzarella said Bimson found 12- to 15-year-old boys from "unfortunate circumstances," brought them to live with him, then molested them on a nightly basis.
Two of Bimson's victims shared a bed with the defendant at separate times and were molested nightly around 10 p.m., the prosecutor said.
"Mr. Bimson would molest one boy at a time until they got to a certain age," the prosecutor said.
A third boy was touched by Bimson but rejected any further sexual advances, Mazzarella told the jury.
She said the boys didn't say anything for years because Bimson was giving them money, buying them new clothes and giving them a better life. Some even stayed in touch with him after the molestation stopped and had no animosity toward him, Mazzarella said.
One victim finally called police in 2006 after learning that Bimson had received a license for foster care, the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor said the boys "signed up for friendship and ended up with betrayal."
A number of others testified that Bimson molested them in much the same way. Bimson was not charged in connection with those alleged victims because the crimes happened in Arizona, the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Lisa Berman-Hernandez said the stories the boys told were not true and that Bimson gave them a better life and lived by the Rotary Club motto of "Service Above Self."
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