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August 2, 2014
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GV man begins serving sentence in molest case

A Grass Valley man who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of committing a lewd act on a child aged 15 began serving his sentence in Nevada County Jail Thursday.

Todd Ronald Ghiringhelli, 50, had also been charged with sexual battery by restraint, but that count was dismissed after he took a plea agreement that included reducing the remaining felony count to a misdemeanor.

Ghiringhelli was sentenced July 14 to 90 days in jail and three years supervised probation. He also must register as a sex offender and cannot have contact with minors.

Ghiringhelli 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 and Tourette’s syndromes, 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.

In other court news:

— A man facing assault and drug charges in a convoluted case dating back to January was sentenced July 21 to eight years in prison.

Timothy Woolley, 26, initially was arrested at his Gold Cone Drive residence after telling Nevada County sheriff’s deputies that his estranged girlfriend had attacked him; she said Woolley had beaten her. During the search of the residence, deputies allegedly uncovered 13 pounds of marijuana and a loaded shotgun. Deputies also reportedly found a video surveillance system in the house showing marijuana sales transactions, as well as Woolley beating a woman while she was restrained with duct tape. Deputies reportedly also recovered a cell phone that contained a video of Woolley sexually assaulting a woman while she was passed out or under the influence of a controlled substance.

Woolley had been facing charges of spousal abuse, assault with force likely to produce bodily injury, possession of marijuana for sale, child abuse, torture, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment by violence, sexual penetration by a foreign object while unconscious, rape by use of drugs and sexual battery by restraint.

He pleaded no contest to spousal abuse with a special allegation of causing great bodily injury, as well as to possessing marijuana for sale, with an allegation of committing the felony while armed, sexual battery by restraint and making criminal threats. He took that plea pursuant to People v. West, without admitting guilt, and will serve that time with only 15 percent time credit possible for good behavior. He also must register as a sex offender.

— A Grass Valley man has been sentenced to two years on drug and weapons charges after being found with nearly 50 grams of methamphetamine and a pistol in his motel room.

In February, members of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force were at the Stagecoach Motel when they saw a man they recognized as Jack Flavio Noriega exit the room, and took him into custody on the warrant.

A 2-year-old child of Noriega’s and a pit bull puppy reportedly were in the motel room, and a search reportedly uncovered 48 grams of meth, scales and packaging material, as well as 89 grams of marijuana and four hydrocodone pills, and a loaded .380 semi-automatic pistol.

Noriega pleaded no contest to being a felon in possession of weapon, and possessing a controlled substance for sale, in return for 24 months in state prison.

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

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The Union Updated Aug 2, 2014 01:01AM Published Aug 5, 2014 06:22PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.