Thursday, July 23, 2009
Edwin Sevrence Guilty of Sexual Assault on 8-year-old
After deliberating for about four hours, a Washoe County jury, for a second time, found a Reno man guilty of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl, whom he allegedly had “groomed” to be his sexual playmate.
Washoe District Judge Steven Elliott ordered Edwin Sevrence to return to court on Sept. 10 to be sentenced on the two counts: sexual assault of a child under 14, and lewdness with a child.
He could face a maximum of life in prison on the charges.
Sevrence was convicted in 2005 on the same charges, but appealed the conviction. Last year, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Elliott should have called a mistrial after it was learned that a juror had connections to Sevrence’s parental rights case, and ordered a new trial.
His new trial started last week, and ended with closing arguments late Wednesday.
Deputy District Attorney Kelli Ann Viloria said she was thrilled.
“I’m pleased the jury came to what I believe was a proper verdict,” she said. “This was about the children -- the girl and her siblings. They deserved to be believed.”
“Hopefully now they can move ahead.”
Sevrence’s lawyer, Roger Whomes, said they respect the jury’s decision, but said he would likely appeal again.
The girl, now 14, testified that Sevrence would take her into his bed at night, and use a lubricant as he touched her inappropriately. She also said he made her fondle him once while they were in the bathroom together, and made her show her private parts to her brothers.
Whomes argued that there were inconsistencies in her statements, and told the jury that the findings of a sexual assault nurse with the Child Abuse Response & Evaluations, or CARES program were later found to be incorrect.
But the jury found in favor of the child and Viloria.