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Sentencing postponed in Grass Valley soliciting case

Sentencing has been postponed for a Grass Valley man who had pleaded no contest to a string of cases, including allegations he offered cash to women for sex, offered marijuana to a teen and drove under the influence.

Sean Anthony Saenz, 31, was set to be sentenced Monday in Nevada County Superior Court to a felony charge of furnishing marijuana to a minor older than 14, three misdemeanor counts of engaging or agreeing to engage in prostitution, one misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, and a probation violation.

Saenz faces a maximum of six years and five months in prison after entering an “open” plea on Oct. 1, meaning there was no agreement with the District Attorney’s Office on sentencing.



Instead of sentencing, Judge Candace Heidelberger opted Monday to send Saenz for a 90-day diagnostic evaluation through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, after the county Probation Department expressed significant concerns in its pre-sentence report.

At the sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh noted that Saenz’s conduct appeared to have been escalating and was sexual in nature, calling the attempt to lure the girl into a bathroom “predatory.”



“Probation is not appropriate,” Grubaugh said, “He was already on probation when he committed these offenses.”

Deputy Public Defender Micah Pierce, however, told Heidelberger that Saenz had no prior felony convictions.

Heidelberger noted the pre-sentence report recommended a suspended prison sentence, which means he wouldn’t serve time behind bars if he successfully completes probation.

“I’m not prepared to give you probation, but I’m also not sure if prison is appropriate,” she said. “I’m ordering a 90-day diagnostic … to shed more light on what is going on.”

Saenz is set to return to court March 2.

Grass Valley police had arrested Saenz after two different incidents in late February. Saenz approached a teen girl at Silver Springs High School, reportedly trying to lure her into a bathroom for sex and offering her drugs. A day later, he allegedly solicited three women in Nevada City and Grass Valley for sex, displaying cash.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.


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