Man pleads in child luring case
An Orange County man was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a 15-year-old Nevada County girl for sex, authorities said.
James Dewayne Nivette, who was 50 at the time of his arrest, pleaded Friday after reaching an agreement offer with prosecutors. Under the negotiated settlement, Nivette was sentenced to a year, though he’ll only serve 180 days in jail because of credit he’ll receive for good behavior. Jail time will be followed by two years’ supervised probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender with the state of California, District Attorney Cliff Newell said.
Nivette was arrested by Grass Valley police in September 2019 after authorities said they were able to set up a sting operation to catch him.
Police said they were initially tipped off that Nivette was sending inappropriate messages to a 15-year-old girl by the girl’s mother, who had become aware that her daughter was talking to Nivette online.
Nivette was jailed and charged with three felony counts; distributing pornography to a minor, contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense, and meeting a minor for lewd purposes.
While initially pleading not guilty to all three charges in February, Nivette ultimately reached a negotiated settlement with prosecutors under which he pleaded guilty to the charge of meeting a minor for lewd purposes. The other two charges will be dismissed at Nivette’s sentencing hearing in July, prosecutors said.
Newell said that Nivette’s arrest and conviction was a testament to the spirited assistance that police received from the girl’s mother, as well as an example of successful collaboration between different law enforcement agencies, with authorities from Nevada County working with Orange County police to secure Nivette’s arrest.
Newell said that his office felt as though Nivette’s sentence was appropriate given his lack of prior criminal history. He added that the sentencing range for the charges faced by the defendant could have resulted in a prison sentence of up to several years, but that prosecutors took into account Nivette’s older age and status as a first time offender.
“I think that this is an appropriate resolution to this case. We normally don’t send people to prison for what are considered non-violent crimes, especially if they’ve been a law-abiding citizen,” Newell said.
“In this case, he didn’t have a criminal past, but obviously made a really poor decision here.”
Nivette’s defense attorney could not be reached for comment.
Nivette’s arrest came after a series of conversations with the girl, authorities have said.
The mother claimed Nivette’s conversations with her daughter led to photos and messages that contained sexual content, and that he even offered to buy a plane ticket for the minor so that they could meet in Orange County. At that point, the woman says that she contacted the Grass Valley Police Department, reports state.
Grass Valley detectives then began messaging Nivette online, posing as the girl with her mother’s help, and eventually arranged to meet him at an address in Orange County. Nivette arrived at the fixed location expecting to meet the girl, but instead he was arrested by police, according to reports.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer for The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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