Nevada County judge sentences suspect in child sex case to 16 years |

Nevada County judge sentences suspect in child sex case to 16 years

A Grass Valley man accused of child molestation has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after entering a plea to a count of continuous sexual abuse

Garrett Wibberley, 36, was arrested in March 2018 on charges that he had sexual contact at least three times with a girl younger than 14 between 2010 and 2011. Six instances of lewd conduct were alleged between 2011 and 2016.

In May, Wibberley pleaded to a count of continuous sexual abuse in return for a stipulated 16-year sentence, with the dismissal of six counts of lewd act upon a child.

In Nevada County Superior Court Friday, Wibberley told Judge Candace Heidelberger he had been rushed into the plea agreement and believed he could get as few as 12 years, asking her to reduce his prison term.

Wibberley read a letter in court in which he expressed his “deepest sorrow and regret,” telling Heidelberger he plans to live his life in benefit to others and help as many people as he can. Wibberley added he hopes to attend seminary if he becomes eligible for alternative sentencing and regardless, will use his incarceration to better himself.

“When I signed the plea agreement, it came so fast,” he said.

Wibberley cited family issues, saying, “Please don’t punish my family … If it’s possible, could you lower my sentence?”

Heidelberger, however, declined.

“I couldn’t help but note that you said your life was turned inside out,” the judge said. “But the victim’s life was also turned inside-out.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.