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North Texas Radio Host Pleads Guilty To Child Abuse, Attempted Capital Murder Of Prosecutor

McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Chilling radio broadcasts with the voices of an admitted pedophile and his victims were played in a Collin County courtroom Thursday.

Plano syndicated radio host, Dan Steffen, pleaded guilty to abusing four victims.

"I'm pleading guilty because I am guilty," said Steffen.

Dan Steffen
Dan Steffen (CBS11)

But police believe there are dozens if not hundreds of others.

Steffen not only admitted to sexually abusing boys, but he also pleaded guilty to offering someone $45,000 to have his prosecutor killed.

He worked as a radio host out of his home and prosecutors revealed disturbing excerpts from broadcasts talking about and to his victims.

The 70-year-old Plano man hosted a syndicated radio show for small stations across the county under the name Rick Austin.

Steffen pleaded guilty to child sex abuse and attempted capital murder.

Plano detectives raided his home last year after hearing he was engaging in sex acts with a 16-year-old boy.

"He had known him since he was about 10 years old," said Daniel Bryeans with the Plano Police Department.

Police seized a steel briefcase with more than 8,000 images of homemade child porn dating back 20 years along with dozens of photos of boys police have been trying to track down.

Inside Steffen's home, he had a broadcast studio for his syndicated radio show.

Prosecutors played excerpts that include the boys voices and Steffen gushing over their appearance.

A Collin County prosecutor testified about her fear after Steffen tried to have her killed while in jail.

"I was frightened," said Assistant District Attorney Crystal Levonius. "I think I was more afraid for my children because they are all very young. Because I was aware of the defendant and I felt like he was the most depraved individual I ever prosecuted. I took him at his word."

Steffen could get anywhere from probation to life in prison when he is sentenced by the judge.


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