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Monday, April 15, 2024 at 8:22 AM
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Inappropriate Conduct Lands Stark 17-46 Months in Prison

Inappropriate Conduct Lands Stark 17-46 Months in Prison
Ronnie Stark. Photo courtesy of CCSO.

Ronnie Anton Stark appeared for sentencing in the Tenth Judicial Court on Tuesday, February 27, before Judge Thomas Stockard. Stark’s offense, Attempt to Commit an Open or Gross Lewdness a Second or Subsequent Offense, can be sentenced as either a Gross Misdemeanor or as a Category E Felony. The circumstances often determine how the offense is charged. Ultimately, however, it is up to the presiding judge to rule on the felony/misdemeanor status and to assign the appropriate penalties if guilt is determined. 

Deputy District Attorney Priscilla Baker asked the court to sentence the charge a felony. According to Baker, Stark answered a Facebook ad for a 16-year-old to come in and clean his apartment. The first time she was there, she thought she saw him fondle himself, but she was not sure. During her second visit to the apartment, she thought she noticed the same behavior. “This time it was indisputable,” said

Baker, who explained that Stark was engaging in inappropriate behavior in front of her stating that the victim asked to leave, but Stark asked her to go into the bedroom. She declined and left, reporting the incident to her father when she got home. Baker noted that although Stark’s last conviction was in 1999, his criminal history denotes three prior felonies, which include two counts of Indecent Exposure and for Illegal Entry to a Dwelling. 

Baker told the court that Stark’s behavior shows a relapse of his exhibitionist disorder. She said the defendant indicated it should never have happened, and he just wanted attention. Baker said, “He knew her age. He took advantage. And he victimized her. This is not okay,” and asked for Judge Stockard to sentence Stark to 19-48 months in prison.

Churchill County Public Defender Jacob Sommer told the court, “He absolutely, and totally, categorically denies that he asked this young lady to come into the bedroom. That was simply not what happened.” Sommer said Stark has had some problems in the past, which resurfaced as he stopped taking his medications. “He stopped putting up important guardrails that normally would keep him and others from this kind of situation – something he absolutely regrets.” 

Sommer emphasized the fact that Stark never physically touched the victim or created a situation that would include physical contact. Sommer also pointed out it has been 22 years between arrests, and that he has begun counseling to deal with these issues, as well as depression and anxiety. 

Noting that Stark will be required to register as a sex offender and a conviction of this nature is obviously going to have an impact on his life. “We’re not objecting to a felony offense here. I would ask the court, however, to grant Mr. Stark probation,” said Sommer. “He is a man of 66 years, of course he will have significant restrictions in who he can be around and who he can contact in terms of community safety.”

Stark addressed the court, stating, “I totally regret that this has happened, and I take responsibility for my actions. And I’ll take treatment and do whatever it takes to solve my issues so that this will never happen again.”

To be eligible for probation, Stark submitted to a psycho-sexual evaluation, which concluded that he is at a low risk of re-offending. However, Judge Stockard deemed probation not appropriate in this case and sentenced Stark to 17-46 months in a Nevada State Prison. Fees and assessments were imposed, and Stark was remanded to the custody of the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office for imposition of sentence.
 


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Wendy Elayne Partida 03/09/2024 09:00 PM
My gratitude to our Judge Stockard for his decision to impose a sentence in this case.

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