Ranchos woman admits leaving her daughter with sex offender
A 33-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos woman is facing up to 12 months in jail and a $2,000 fine after pleading guilty to knowingly allowing her 13-year-old daughter to be photographed nude and inappropriately touched by a neighbor.
On Tuesday, Amanda Buckingham pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse or neglect, a gross misdemeanor, for making insufficient efforts to protect the victim from 48-year-old neighbor Jon Slaatte.
In exchange for her plea, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop a more serious felony charge.
According to court documents, Buckingham knew what was occurring from Jan. 1, 2011, to Dec. 13, but failed to act. She told a Douglas County sheriff’s investigator that she “ignored what was occurring in front of her because ‘she didn’t want to deal with it.'”
Authorities were alerted to the incident by a relative who became aware of the relationship.
On March 20, Slaatte received the mandatory sentence of life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 10 years, after admitting that he touched the girl at his residence on Nov. 6 and took nude pictures of her for three years while developing an inappropriate physical relationship.
District Judge Dave Gamble asked Buckingham on Tuesday how she could have let her daughter fall prey to Slaatte.
“I got drunk,” Buckingham said.
When the defendant started crying, Gamble sharply reminded her that he’d adjudicated Slaatte’s case and knew what the victim had suffered.
“Did you get drunk one time or a hundred times?” he asked.
“I didn’t protect her like I should have,” Buckingham said.
Gamble set sentencing for May 22 and asked the district attorney’s office to file a termination of parental rights. The child is currently living with family members.