Gardnerville man may go to boot camp after all |

Gardnerville man may go to boot camp after all

by Sheila Gardner

A 19-year-old Gardnerville man who passed on boot camp six months ago because of an ankle injury may be ready to sign up to avoid prison for weapons theft and a new charge of statutory sexual seduction.

District Judge Michael Gibbons continued sentencing of Dennis Darter for one week to give the district attorney’s office a chance to contact the 14-year-old victim of the seduction charge.

In addition to being a new offense, the crime is a violation of Darter’s probation for attempted grand larceny of a firearm.

He received a suspended three-year prison sentence for the 2010 offense with numerous conditions.

After numerous probation violations, Darter was ordered to complete a six-month residential treatment program run by the Salvation Army in Reno, but he got kicked out in June for numerous violations and was returned to Douglas County Jail.

The regimental discipline program had been considered as his original sentence, but Darter claimed an ankle injury prior to admission, and never entered the program.

On Monday, Darter’s lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said he believed his client was healthy enough to participate in the program if he is accepted.

Darter faces a new charge of statutory sexual seduction involving a 14-year-old girl that dates from October.

Lopez said there was a six-month delay in reporting the offense, but Darter admitted it happened after he was sentenced to probation.

Darter said he knew the girl was 14, but said the sex was consensual.

Darter claimed he was kicked out of the Salvation Army program due to the actions of another participant.

He admitted he had several violations which added up to his dismissal.

Gibbons advised Darter that he may have to register as a sex offender.

Darter admitted to Gibbons that he hadn’t completed other conditions of his probation including completing community service, a victim impact panel, earning his high school general equivalency or abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

Darter admitted taking a .357-magnum rifle in a December 2010 break-in at a Topaz Ranch Estates garage. Also stolen were three swords and ammunition.

He was arrested with two juveniles.

Darter faced up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Lopez said Darter completed 4-1/2 months of the six-month Salvation Army program and was advised he could return, but would have to start over.

Darter told the judge he liked the program.

“I went with the intention to better myself,” he said. “I worked multiple jobs, 16-hour days. I learned how to work and I stopped screwing around.

“Everything had to come whenever I wanted it. I don’t want to live that way any more.”

Gibbons said it was unlikely Darter would get probation.

“Realistically, he’s looking at prison, the Salvation Army or boot camp. He is not looking at being released,” Gibbons said.

He set sentencing for next week after Darter waived a psychological risk assessment and a presentence investigation report.

Darter is to remain in Douglas County Jail.