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Former Wood County judge candidate indicted on child porn charges

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Stephen Long

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BOWLING GREEN — A lawyer and one-time judicial candidate was indicted Thursday by a Wood County grand jury on child pornography charges.

Stephen D. Long, 53, of Perrysburg was indicted on five counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and one count of possessing criminal tools.

The pandering charges, which allege Mr. Long downloaded and possessed images of child pornography on his home computers, are second-degree felonies punishable by up to eight years in prison upon conviction.

Possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to a year in prison, alleges he used a desktop and laptop computer for criminal purposes. The indictment seeks forfeiture of the two computers.

Defense attorney Pete Rost said Thursday that he and his client had been expecting the indictment.

“We've been trying to resolve the allegations with the prosecutor's office prior to the indictment, and we'll continue to work on a resolution,” Mr. Rost said.

Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson declined to comment on how the alleged activity was discovered by investigators in May.

“We'll let the case play out and speak for itself,” Mr. Dobson said. “Filing charges like this are something we take seriously with anybody — not just because he's an attorney.”

A 1994 graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, Mr. Long has a private law practice in Sylvania Township.

In November, 2016, Mr. Long, a Democrat, ran for judge of Wood County Common Pleas Court but was beaten by Republican Matthew Reger by a vote of 28,436 to 18,577. Mr. Long ran unsuccessfully for Perrysburg City Council in 2009 and 2015 as well as for state representative in 2014.

He is the third lawyer to be indicted this year in Wood County, albeit on unrelated charges.

Robert Searfoss, III, 40, of Perrysburg was indicted in May on 14 felonies alleging he stole more than $400,000 from a client throughout a two-year period.

Andrew Schuman, 45, of Bowling Green was indicted in October on accusations he tampered with evidence by trying to cover up a car accident.

Those cases are pending in Wood County Common Pleas Court.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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