Masury man pleads guilty in large digital porn case

MASURY, Ohio (WYTV) – A Masury man, who investigators say had massive amounts of child pornography in his possession, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Trumbull County Court.

Stephen Sample, 44, pleaded guilty to 15 felony counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Investigators say they found more than one million child pornography files in Sample’s possession.

Prosecutors say this particular case was unlike any other the Trumbull County Child Pornography Task Force has ever seen.

“It is the most since we’ve been doing this in Trumbull County. I’ve asked other prosecutors around the state, and I couldn’t find a case with more files,’ said Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.

Sample was indicted on 20 counts back in 2016 following a February raid at his home on Custer-Orangeville Road in Masury. Electronics, such as computers and cell phones, were taken from the home.

Prosecutors say investigators caught Sample in the act.

“We have never encountered that before where we make an entry into a home and a suspect is actively downloading child pornographic images and videos. It’s never happened, and we’ve probably done hundreds of search warrants in this unit,” Wildman said.

As part of the plea agreement, Sample will have to register as a tier 2 sex offender for 25 years. A judge also ordered he undergo a sex offender risk assessment.

Sample faces up to 120 years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for a later date.