Mandatory prison for man in lewdness case |

Mandatory prison for man in lewdness case

by Sheila Gardner

A 47-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man who admitted inappropriately touching his neighbor’s 13-year-old daughter must serve at least 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to the crime.

Jon Slaatte pleaded guilty to lewdness with a child under age 14 in connection with the offense. The crime carries a penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years. There are no other sentencing options.

Slaatte will have to register as a sex offender and be under lifetime supervision by the Department of Parole and Probation.

According to the criminal complaint, the crime occurred on Nov. 6 at Slaatte’s residence.

“I inappropriately touched her. I did it. I’m guilty,” Slaatte told District Judge Dave Gamble on Tuesday.

He said the incident occurred at his residence in the 1300 block of Kimmerling, across the street from the victim.

Gamble set sentencing for March 20.

Slaatte is in Douglas County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Gamble said if Slaatte is able to bail out, he must appear at a hearing to set release conditions.

In exchange for Slaatte’s guilty plea, the district attorney agreed not to file additional charges against him.

The girl’s mother, Amanda Buckingham, 33, is to appear Wednesday in East Fork Justice Court on a felony charge of child abuse or neglect.

Buckingham is accused of knowing that Slaatte was taking nude photographs of the victim for three years while developing an inappropriate physical relationship with the child.

According to the criminal complaint, Buckingham placed the child in a situation where a reasonable person would know the girl could be in harm’s way and made insufficient efforts to protect her.

Buckingham reportedly told the investigator she “ignored what was occurring in front of her because ‘she didn’t want to deal with it.'”

She was released on $10,000 bail, and is forbidden to have contact with the victim or Slaatte.

Authorities were alerted to the incident by a relative who became aware of the relationship.

The child is in the custody of Child Protective Services.