A 43-year-old Lakeland man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 2018.
Before Steven Lane was sentenced, Circuit Judge William Sites told the defendant that the case was one of the most heartbreaking he’s seen.
“Sitting through this trial was one of the most soul crushing things I’ve had to do,” Sites said.
In addition to a life sentence for the sexual battery charge, Lane was sentenced to 15 years for lewd molestation.
Assistant State Attorney Rachelle Williamson prosecuted the case.
Lane’s attorney argued that Sites should sentence Lane to 10 years with credit for time served followed by 15 years of sex offender probation. He told Sites there was evidence that Lane had expressed remorse to family members before he was arrested.
But Williamson said Lane deserved a life sentence. She explained that Lane was calculating over several years in his plan to repeatedly assault the victim.
“He manipulated and abused him for his own sexual gratification,” Williamson said.
Sites listened to witnesses from both sides, including family members, before making the decision to sentence Lane to life in prison.
State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Williamson and Polk County Sheriff’s detectives for their work on the case.