CRIME

Steffon Rodney Christian, former Manassas teacher's aide, pleads to sex abuse charges

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A former Manassas teacher’s aide accused of sexually abusing students pleaded guilty to 22 charges Monday in a sex abuse case.

Steffon Christian, 48, was arrested in November after a man told police Christian abused him in 1993, when he was a student at Baldwin Elementary School.

Christian was initially charged with four counts of forcible sodomy.

The victim says the Penn State sex abuse scandal prompted him to come forward.

Police say more victims came forward after Christian was arrested, with Christian admitting to abusing eight of them.

Manassas school officials say Christian was hired as a kindergarten aide in 1981, then transitioned to a library assistant. He hasn't worked for Manassas schools since 1999.

Defense attorney Kimberly Irving said, "Mr. Christian accepted responsibility and hopes this begins the healing for the victims."

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors have recommended Christian spend the next 20 to 30 years in prison.

But, the judge could impose a harsher sentence. Several of the charges Christian pleaded guilty to carry the potential of life sentences.

Christian will be sentenced Sept 27 at 9 a.m. Some of his victims are expected to testify.

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