Sailor pleads guilty to lewdness charge
April 5, 2013
A 26-year-old sailor stationed at Naval Air Station Fallon pleaded guilty Tuesday in District Court to one lewdness charge.
Michael Paul Henderson stipulated to a plea agreement for one count of attempted lewdness with a child under 14. Henderson faces two to 20 years in prison, although he is eligible for probation.
Terms of the plea agreement, however, stipulate Henderson is not allowed to argue for probation at his May 21 sentencing hearing.
The crime stems from an incident on Aug. 17 where Henderson, who is married, attempted to touch the legs, back and buttocks of a 12-year-old girl for his own sexual desires.
When asked by Judge Tom Stockard what transpired that day, Henderson did not speak for several minutes and turned to his attorney, Jacob Sommer, twice for counsel.
"I attempted to touch a child under 14 with the intention of gratifying myself," Henderson told Stockard.
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The court scheduled the sentencing to accommodate the victim's father, who is also in the Navy and will be deployed May 24.
Before sentencing, Henderson must complete a psychosexual evaluation, which determines a peodophile's risk to reoffend. Stockard said the evaluation may provide Henderson with an opportunity to be granted probation, although a suspended sentence is entirely up to Stockard.
Other terms of the agreement include Henderson must register as a felon and sex offender and is subject to lifetime supervision.
In exchange for his plea, other charges or possible charges were dismissed. Sommer said the agreement was in the best interest of his client.
In other court news —
• Gregory Parker, 61, appeared Tuesday in District Court on one count of assault with a deadly weapon.
Parker is suspected of pulling a knife on a man at Safeway and telling the man "I am going to stab you."
In court, Parker kept denying the charge and rambled quietly throughout much of the hearing. Sommer and Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Sean Alexander agreed a competency evaluation was in Parker's best interest.
Stockard ordered Parker to participate in the evaluation and also ordered the Fallon man to report to Court Services.
• Joe Groves pleaded guilty to one count of uttering a forged instrument on Tuesday.
He passed a check in another person's name on Nov. 5, 2012. He faces one to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine, although is eligible for probation.
• Shannandoa Francis Murray did not appear for his hearing and Stockard ordered a bench warrant.
Murray's attorney, Paul Drakulich, said he attempted to contact his client but Murray did not respond. Drakulich said the Department of Parole and Probation said Murray most likely absconded.