Man joins imprisoned brother in lewdness case
A Gardnerville man, described as having the mind of child, was sentenced to prison for forcing himself on a 13-year-old girl.
Michael Howell Jr., 22, was sentenced to 28-72 months in prison on Tuesday and will have to register as a sex offender after he admitted to attempted lewdness with a minor in connection with the June 2017.
Howell will join his brother Jaccob in prison. Jaccob brought the girl to Howell’s apartment before leaving for a brief time, and returned to find Howell raping her. He eventually pulled his brother off the girl. Jaccob Howell was sentenced to 3-8 years in prison after he admitted a count of attempted lewdness.
The victim testified on Tuesday that Jaccob told her schoolmates what happened to her, leading her to being bullied.
“I feel very alone most of the time,” she said. “People at school started bullying me and I kept on getting picked on at school. Jaccob was telling people that I let them do stuff to me.”
District Judge Tod Young reassured the girl that what happened was not her fault.
“You should know this event is not something you should blame yourself for,” he said. “You were not the adult. We’ve heard a lot of talk about Michael being the child, but when you are 13 you are a child.”
Defense attorney Maria Pence said that Howell had been stuck in the head by a 4×4 when he was 10 and that brain injury has affected him ever since.
Howell’s mother testified that the injury dramatically affected Howell’s personality.
“He would be violent and get angry,” she said “Anything could set him off.”
His mother said that when he was 18, she had to have him arrested for domestic violence.
“If he’s sentenced to prison, it will be a death sentence for him,” she said. “He will be acting like some sort of hot shot type.”
Pence and Howell’s mother asked the judge to send Howell to some sort of treatment program that won’t let him leave.
Prosecutor Erik Levin argued that Howell knew what he was doing and that he knew it was wrong.
“You can’t say he was roped into it,” Levin said. “The victim told him to stop and he said, ‘I need this.’ That shows a demonstration of wrongfulness. We have a 13-year-old victim who was violated in one of the most horrific ways imaginable.”
Levin asked for a 4-15-year prison sentence to protect the community and give the victim a sense of justice.
Young said that were it not for Howell’s cognitive issues, he would have sentenced him to the maximum.
“If I didn’t have to think about it, it would be easy to send you away for 20 years,” Young said. “It is also very true you’ve had a lot of intervention in your life. It appears to me that when you get the opportunity for treatment, you don’t follow through. There’s also some indication that he’s a little more savvy than people want to give him credit for.”
Howell was given credit for 588 days time served.