Former Attorney Pleads Guilty Of Child Molestation

An attorney and former congressional aide pleaded guilty on Wednesday to molesting a 14-year-old boy he met via the Internet and a 13- year-old northern Virginia boy from whose family he rented a room.

Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, 37, of Ladera Ranch, is expected to be sentenced to three years in prison on April 18 under terms of the plea bargain. But he will be in a lock-down sex offender program prior to that time, Senior Deputy District Attorney Colleen Crommett said. Sentencing could happen earlier, and Nielsen would go directly from the lock-down program to prison, she said.

He will have to register as a sex offender for life, she said, and he will lose his license to practice law when the Bar Association is notified of the plea, she said.

Nielsen pleaded guilty to a pair of felony counts, lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 and upon a child between the age of 14 and 15 years old, Crommett said.

He entered the plea as he was set to undergo a second trial in connection with the older boy, with whom he had sex in April 2003, Crommett said.

Nielsen met the boy in a gay-oriented Internet site and they met on March 30, 2003. They engaged in oral sex at Nielsen’s Ladera Ranch condominium, prosecutors said.

The boy told Nielsen he was 15 years old, but he was 14 at the time.Over the next four weeks, Nielsen met the high school freshman on two more occasions, each time engaging in oral copulation, Crommett said.

The boy told a friend about the relationship, and the friend alerted school authorities, who called police.

Nielsen was arrested by Westminster police in May 2003. They found thousands of images of child pornography on his home computer, laptop and work computer at the law firm where he worked, Crommett said.

A mistrial was declared on March 12 when a jury deadlocked, after attorneys said the now-18-year-old accuser was caught in several inconsistencies while testifying.

On all of the counts, Crommett said jurors deadlocked in favor of acquittal.

The charges involving the 13-year-old Virginia boy, who Nielsen met while working as an aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, were not part of the first trial.

Prosecutors knew about that boy, Crommett said, but the prosecutor on that case made a tactical decision not to include evidence of that case.

According to prosecutors, Nielsen met the boy’s parents through a church, and he convinced them to let him move into their basement, where the molestation continued, Crommett said.

Most of the allegations in that case remain under the jurisdiction of Virginia, but Nielsen brought the boy to Fountain Valley for a two-week period in the summer of 1994, after molesting him for more than a year-and-a-half before that, Crommett said.

Two of the Virginia victim’s boyhood friends were ready to testify that they saw Nielsen kiss and fondle the boy, she said.

Additional evidence prosecutors got included confessions made by Nielsen to two of his roommates about both boys, and they were ready to testify, Crommett said.

“Our evidence became insurmountable,” Crommett said. “We had a lot of evidence. I believe that led him to understand he would not prevail at (the second) trial.”

Defense attorney Paul Meyer said only: “We felt it was time to resolve these cases.”

Crommett said Nielsen could have faced 20 years in prison had he been convicted of all counts. She called the plea agreement a fair resolution that allows the victims to put the cases behind them.

Nielsen will enroll in a program in Los Angeles County that prepares sex offenders for prison, she said.

Published in: on December 5, 2007 at 7:31 am  Leave a Comment  

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