Penn Valley man takes plea in sex abuse case |

Penn Valley man takes plea in sex abuse case

James Sims

A 74-year-old Penn Valley man accused of sexually abusing a child pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of continuous sexual abuse, in return for a 16-year prison sentence.

James Lewis Sims had been set for a preliminary hearing into the evidence against him in Nevada County Superior Court. But his defense attorney, Stephen Munkelt, told Judge Linda Sloven a resolution had been reached that included a pending case on the same accusations in the state of Nevada.

Sims is expected to plead guilty to one count in Washoe County in return for a sentence of 10 years to life, Munkelt said. That sentence will run concurrent to the prison term in Nevada County.

Sims’ sentencing here is set for March 16.

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Authorities arrested Sims in April after an investigation began in Washoe County, Nevada, where the allegations were first disclosed. Authorities said Sims had been sexually abusing a child between October 2015 and August 2017 at a residence in the state of Nevada and at his residence in Penn Valley. He also was charged with sexual penetration with a child 10 years old or younger in 2018, according to the criminal complaint. Prosecutors will dismiss that charge.

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

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