Trial date set in toddler abuse case |

Trial date set in toddler abuse case

A trial in the case of a Grass Valley man accused of sodomizing his toddler son has been set to start June 5 and is expected to last six to nine days.

The case of Jesse Rider, 19, will go to trial because Rider reversed a plea agreement in which had he pleaded no contest to one charge of child endangerment. Rider changed his plea in March after Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti ordered Rider to register as a sex offender as part of his sentencing.

But Rider’s lawyer said Friday he will push for a change of venue because of media attention to the case.

Michael Phillips said he would most likely file the request sometime next week. He said he would prefer that the case be heard in Truckee, although those details are strictly at a judge’s discretion.

It remains to be seen whether such a move would occur. Phillips said he could not recall any change of venue motion ever being granted in Nevada County.

Rider originally was charged with continual sexual abuse of a child and three acts of committing a lewd act upon a child. The more serious charges were dropped in the plea agreement reached in October 2006.

Tamietti ruled sexual gratification was part of Rider’s crime after he watched a police video of Rider confessing to sexually abusing his son at least three times in 2004 and 2005.

Upon Phillips’ request, Tamietti recused himself from the case last month to avoid tainting the trial with any conclusions he may have drawn during the plea phase – though Tamietti had argued he felt the recusal was unnecessary. Tamietti’s rulings prior to the plea phase remain intact, but the entire plea process now is thrown out.

“We’re starting from the beginning,” Phillips said.

It has not been decided which judge would preside over the trial and any pre-trial hearings, Phillips said. Visiting Judge John Darlington heard the case Friday.

To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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