Convicted molester coming to Nevada

James Ernest Hope

James Ernest Hope

A Nevada fugitive wanted in both Carson City and Douglas County on charges of child molestation, will be returning to Nevada now that he's begun serving a prison sentence for assaulting a child in Washington state.

Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo said his office has begun the process of having James Ernest Hope extradited to Nevada to face four counts of lewdness with a minor under the age of 14 and one count of sexual assault of a child under 14.

"For the sake of the victims and their families, Hope needs to be brought to justice sooner rather than later. My staff will initiate the interstate detainer and extradition process immediately in order to return Hope to Nevada for prosecution as soon as possible," Rombardo said. When Hope will return depends on whether he fights extradition, he said.

Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Chris Brown said her office has also started the process of having Hope returned to face a charge of lewdness with a child under 14 years of age.

Hope, 42, was sentenced in Clallam County Superior Court on Dec. 29 to 68 months in prison for felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. He pleaded guilty in Port Angeles, Wash., on Nov. 3.

In January 2004, he was awaiting a trial on charges he sexually assaulted two Carson City girls when new allegations surfaced that he'd molested a girl in Minden.

When an arrest warrant was issued for him from Douglas County, Hope fled, according to police. He was captured in Washington in September after fleeing from police there who wished to question him after a girl there told her mother he molested her. Hope was using the alias Matt Hammerschmidt. He allegedly had identification for five aliases on him when he was arrested.

Hope, who formerly owned Hope's Painting & Drywall in Carson City and was a police cadet, was arrested in May 2004 and ordered to stand trial in Carson City on four counts of lewdness with a minor under the age of 14 and one count of sexual assault of a child under 14. The two victims in the case were 4 and 6 at the time.

According to court documents, the girls allegedly told their mother that Hope assaulted them in 2001. The conversation came up between the mother and daughters during an episode of the "Montel Williams Show" dealing with sexual assault, the mother testified.

Then while out on $100,000 bail, Hope allegedly asked a 10-year-old Minden girl, with whom he was acquainted, a sexually suggestive question, licked her face and put his hand in her pants while her mother was in another room, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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