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June 4, 2014
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Ghiringhelli accepts plea in teenage sex case


A Grass Valley man pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of committing a lewd act on a child aged 15 and is set for sentencing July 14. A second count, of sexual battery by restraint, will be dismissed.

Todd Ronald Ghiringhelli, 50, reportedly met the girl at a Grass Valley gas station after she ran away from a group home in March 2013.

The victim, described in court as “mentally challenged” and suffering from Asperger’s syndrome and Tourette’s syndrome, reportedly agreed to go to Ghiringhelli’s residence to spend the night. Ghiringhelli reportedly came into the bathroom as she was wrapped in a towel and groped her, then tried to prevent her from getting dressed.

Ghiringhelli was set to go to trial in July. But at a hearing in Nevada County Superior Court on May 23, he took a plea agreement that included reducing a felony count to a misdemeanor.

In other court news:

— The driver of a cement truck that crashed into a vehicle transporting twin brothers, killing one, in July 2013 is currently serving his jail sentence after pleading no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and unlawful driving. Ronald Harris, 23, is also a twin, The Union noted at the time of the accident.

On July 6, the cement truck Harris was driving rolled into the oncoming lane of Highway 174, just north of the Bear River Bridge, slamming into a Toyota pickup truck containing 48-year-old twins — Donald and Daniel Bisbee — and killing Donald, who was driving. The California Highway Patrol ruled Harris was traveling faster than the advised 25 mph at the time.

Harris pleaded no contest to the charges in a hearing May 5 and was sentenced to 20 days in jail and three years court probation; he also must do 320 hours of community service. He surrendered at the jail on May 29.

— A Penn Valley man arrested in January 2013 after an investigation into child pornography has pleaded no contest to one count of possessing matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct.

Ryan Leigh Shuart, 33, was arrested after Sutter County authorities initially began investigating a case in which child pornography was being distributed via an Internet Protocol address in Yuba County, which led to an address in Nevada County. Detectives from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit served a search warrant at a residence in the 19000 block of Cobblers Way, seizing computer equipment and arresting Shuart.

On May 15, Shuart took a plea agreement in return for a potential sentence of 16 months in jail and lifetime registration as a sex offender. He is set for sentencing July 14.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Jun 4, 2014 02:00AM Published Jun 4, 2014 01:46AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.