Man convicted in Grass Valley groping cases sentenced to probation, time served
A man convicted of sexually assaulting a number of women throughout Grass Valley in 2018 has been sentenced to time served and five years’ probation, a move the prosecution denounced as sending a “horrible message” to the victims.
Riley Mason Mispley, 22, was facing a maximum of eight years in state prison after being convicted of one felony count of committing a lewd act on a child and five misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said.
At a hearing last week in Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee, Judge Robert Tamietti sentenced Mispley, who had been in custody since November 2018, to a suspended six-year sentence.
Mispley will be on probation for five years, Walsh said, adding that he will have to register as a sex offender.
One of Mispley’s victims spoke at the telephonic hearing, and told The Union she was “completely disappointed” with Tamietti’s decision and felt he did not take her comments into consideration. As the victim of sexual battery, she is not being named.
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Mispley is “going to do it again,” she said. “A zebra doesn’t change his stripes. … Six months from now I will read about him in The Union. He should have been put away.”
According to the woman, Tamietti cited a concern that prison would turn Mispley into a gang member as part of his sentencing decision.
“It’s really fundamentally wrong,” the woman said. “It (was) a bunch of what-ifs. … He’s out, running around Nevada County, and I’m hiding out because I’m afraid.”
Defense attorney Michael Phillips, who represents Mispley, couldn’t be reached for comment. Tamietti declined to comment, citing the judicial code of conduct.
Mispley was arrested after Grass Valley police linked him to a series of reports of a man grabbing or touching women in a sexual manner as they walked alone, often in broad daylight in populated areas. One woman reported the man pulled her shirt down and grabbed her breast, then groped her crotch.
In all, a total of nine incidents were reported, one of which involved Mispley chasing a 13-year-old girl, pulling her pants down and touching her.
It was the lewd act against the 13 year old that the woman repeatedly cited in her conversation with The Union as one of the reasons she felt Mispley deserved to be in prison.
“I wanted to stop him from hurting other children,” she said. “That judge needs to retire.”
Walsh said that he “strongly” disagreed with the sentence given in Mispley’s case.
“The defendant was convicted by jury of sexually assaulting multiple young women,” Walsh said, noting that Mispley was on probation out of Placer County for sexually assaulting another young woman at the time he committed these offenses.
Nevada County’s Probation Department recommended prison in this case, and the assessment tests conducted indicated Mispley is in the moderate to high risk category to reoffend in the future, Walsh said.
“The District Attorney’s Office felt this was an aggravated case and argued for eight years (in) prison at sentencing,” he said. “Granting this defendant probation sends a horrible message to the victims of sexual assault who bravely took the stand and testified against their abuser. I do not believe this sentence accurately reflects the values of our community.”
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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