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The Region

February 26, 1987

A man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for molesting a boy and girl. John Stephens, 56, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd conduct with a child, was given the maximum sentence by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan, who called the molestations "crimes against humanity." The victims, a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl, were the children of Stephens' common-law wife, Kimberly Miranda, and were routinely left alone at the family's home in Sylmar. In May of 1984, the children and two pet kittens climbed into a front-loading clothes dryer and became trapped inside. The boy suffocated, but the girl and the kittens survived. During an autopsy, evidence that the boy had been sodomized in the last days of his life were uncovered by the coroner.

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