Nevada County judge raises bond in child sex sting case
Samuel Pritchard had raspberry-flavored vodka, some condoms, a Dr. Pepper and a blanket when he went to meet with who he thought was a 15-year-old girl, the prosecutor said.
Instead Pritchard, 26, was met by Nevada County sheriff’s deputies, who arrested him on felony accusations of contacting a minor with the intent to have sex and arranging to meet with a minor, authorities said.
“This is what’s known as a sting operation,” Assistant Public Defender Susan Leff told the judge, noting that no actual victim exists.
Arrested Monday after authorities say he went to meet the “girl” at Condon Park, Pritchard appeared Wednesday in Nevada County Superior Court. Leff, who represents Pritchard, told visiting Judge Jane York Punneo that two of his family members and a third supporter came to court in support. His parents have medication he needs, Leff said. They’d ensure he makes his court appearances.
Leff asked the judge to release Pritchard on his own recognizance. Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh argued against it. Punneo agreed with the prosecutor, raising his bond to $15,000 from $10,000.
“Mr. Pritchard remains at this time a danger to the public,” Grubaugh said.
According to Grubaugh, the Sheriff’s Office created the sting. Pritchard contacted someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl, and he planned on engaging in sex acts when he went on Monday to Condon Park.
Grubaugh then listed the items he said Pritchard brought with him: the vodka, condoms, soda and blanket.
The judge ordered the Nevada County Probation Department to write a pretrial release report about Pritchard, who’s next scheduled for court on Tuesday.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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