Accused child molestor’s trial date changed | RecordCourier.com

Accused child molestor’s trial date changed

by Sharon Carter

Next month’s jury trial of a man accused of molesting a young girl has been postponed for three weeks in order to accommodate two witnesses whose vacation plans conflicted with the original July 13 trial date.

Guy Douglas Lance, who has been in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail since his arrest in early April, will not face his accusers until Aug. 3.

Lance, 37, pleaded innocent to an amended complaint charging six felony counts of sexual assault on a child under 16 and six felony counts of statutory sexual seduction.

The length of time Lance has been and will be in jail by the time he comes to trial caused his attorney, Tod Young, to argue against putting off the trial, a move requested by prosecutor Kristine Brown.

Young said he had adjusted his own vacation plans to accommodate the trial. He said he believed an accused person’s right to a speedy trial, which by law should be within 60 days of entering a plea, was more important than witnesses’ vacations.

And at one point, Young suggested the trial go on as scheduled without the witnesses.

“These witnesses don’t bring that much to the trial,” Young said. “The allegations are not consistent with the evidence… it will come down to the girl’s veracity versus Mr. Lance’s. And the girl’s testimony is sufficient (for a conviction), if she’s believed.”

Brown argued that the witnesses, who she said were critical to her case against Lance, had their plans in place and tickets purchased long before the trial date was set.

According to court records, the girl, who is now 14, told a school counselor of the alleged molestations in late March. The counselor notified state Child and Family Services workers. The counselor is one of the witnesses who will be out of town in July.

The alleged victim then told investigators that Lance, a former boyfriend of her mother’s, began having sex with her in 1994, when she was in the sixth grade. At that time, the girl, her mother and Lance lived together in Lyon County.

The Douglas County charges, however, reflect offenses Lance is alleged to have committed between February of 1997 and February of 1998, when Lance lived with the family at various locations in the Topaz Lake area.

Because similar charges have been filed in Lyon County, Young said Tuesday he was putting together a writ for the Nevada Supreme Court requesting that the cases be tried together.

“It’s a question of venue, not jurisdiction,” Young said. “If he’s acquitted here, I don’t know if they’ll proceed in Lyon County.”

Judge David Gamble ruled to postpone the trial for three weeks. He said even if the trial went on as originally scheduled, Lance would likely be “sitting in the bucket” in Lyon County on the charges there.

“In a close case, witnesses are important in establishing credibility,” Gamble said.by Sharon Carter

Staff Writer

Next month’s jury trial of a man accused of molesting a young girl has been postponed for three weeks in order to accommodate two witnesses whose vacation plans conflicted with the original July 13 trial date.

Guy Douglas Lance, who has been in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail since his arrest in early April, will not face his accusers until Aug. 3.

Lance, 37, pleaded innocent to an amended complaint charging six felony counts of sexual assault on a child under 16 and six felony counts of statutory sexual seduction.

The length of time Lance has been and will be in jail by the time he comes to trial caused his attorney, Tod Young, to argue against putting off the trial, a move requested by prosecutor Kristine Brown.

Young said he had adjusted his own vacation plans to accommodate the trial. He said he believed an accused person’s right to a speedy trial, which by law should be within 60 days of entering a plea, was more important than witnesses’ vacations.

And at one point, Young suggested the trial go on as scheduled without the witnesses.

“These witnesses don’t bring that much to the trial,” Young said. “The allegations are not consistent with the evidence… it will come down to the girl’s veracity versus Mr. Lance’s. And the girl’s testimony is sufficient (for a conviction), if she’s believed.”

Brown argued that the witnesses, who she said were critical to her case against Lance, had their plans in place and tickets purchased long before the trial date was set.

According to court records, the girl, who is now 14, told a school counselor of the alleged molestations in late March. The counselor notified state Child and Family Services workers. The counselor is one of the witnesses who will be out of town in July,

The alleged victim then told investigators that Lance, a former boyfriend of her mother’s, began having sex with her in 1994, when she was in the sixth grade. At that time, the girl, her mother and Lance lived together in Lyon County.

The Douglas County charges, however, reflect offenses Lance is alleged to have committed between February of 1997 and February of 1998, when Lance lived with the family at various locations in the Topaz Lake area.

Because similar charges have been filed in Lyon County, Young said Tuesday he was putting together a writ for the Nevada Supreme Court requesting that the cases be tried together.

“It’s a question of venue, not jurisdiction,” Young said. “If he’s acquitted here, I don’t know if they’ll proceed in Lyon County.”

Judge David Gamble ruled to postpone the trial for three weeks. He said even if the trial went on as originally scheduled, Lance would likely be “sitting in the bucket” in Lyon County on the charges there.

“In a close case, witnesses are important in establishing credibility,” Gamble said.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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