No prison time for man who had ‘nearly 200’ child porn images, videos

Steven Payne, who was the longtime volleyball coach at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis at the time of his arrest, registered as a sex offender on June 14. (Source: Marion County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Registry)
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MARION COUNTY, Ind. (Gray News) - When he was arrested last November, Steven Craig Payne faced more than three decades of prison time.

Instead, he won’t spend a day behind bars.

Payne faced 11 felony counts after the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department discovered hundreds of sexually explicit images and videos of young girls on two thumb drives in his backpack.

In March, He pleaded guilty to just one of them: A Level 5 count of possession of child pornography with an aggravating factor, meaning the nature of the image was exploitative, The Indianapolis Star reported.

All 11 counts would have been punishable by up to 31 years in prison, but the terms his plea deal allowed the other 10 to be dropped.

Prosecutors wanted Payne to spend time in the Indiana Department of Correction. Last month, Marion Superior Court Judge Grant W. Hawkins gave Payne a suspended four-year prison sentence and four years of probation.

Hawkins said probation gives him more control over Payne. The plea deal only allowed for a sentence longer than two years if Hawkins suspended the prison time.

“The plea agreement capped initial incarceration at two years,” he told the IndyStar. “With a two-year sentence, he’s out in 18 months or less.”

Payne will undergo searches and polygraph tests for the next four years. He’s also not allowed to use social media or access the internet.

Payne, who was the longtime volleyball coach at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis at the time of his arrest, registered as a sex offender on June 14. His registration expires in 2029.

Police said the thumb drives found in his backpack contained 146 images and videos of child porn. The videos had multiple images of underage girls and investigators estimated nearly 200 images in total.

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