Nevada man sentenced to prison in child sex case

LAS VEGAS " A Nevada man who videotaped himself sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to spend the rest of his life in state prison.

Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti sentenced 38-year-old Chester Arthur Stiles to 21 terms of life in prison for both the 2003 assault and a subsequent sexual assault on a 6-year-old girl.

Stiles' crimes came to light in 2007 after a graphic video of the crime was discovered in the Nevada desert. He was tracked down after a nationwide manhunt.

Stiles declared in court Friday that he was being treated more harshly than a murderer. He protested that he was being sentenced to life in prison for what he called "a non-violent act."

"Twenty-one life sentences for a 12-minute videotape ... that showed no use of force, no drugs, no violence or brutality," Stiles said, standing in shackles and reading a brief statement from handwritten notes.

"There were no tears or threats, no blood," he said. "Indeed, a doctor could not find evidence of molestation and the child could not remember any event. Yet I'm to die in prison."

Togliatti dismissed what she termed Stiles' "woe is me statement," and branded him "a rationalizer" and a "self-pitier."

"He has no remorse for the actions in this case," the judge said.

A jury that viewed the videotape found Stiles guilty of 22 felony charges: 10 counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14 years of age, 10 counts of lewdness with a child under the age of 14, and one count of attempted sexual assault with a minor under 14.

The mother of the girl in the video sat sobbing in the front row during sentencing Friday. The child, who is now 8 years old, did not testify in the case and did not attend the sentencing. Her mother told jurors the girl had no recollection of the attack. The woman declined comment outside the courtroom.

Stiles defense lawyers said they will appeal his conviction and sentence.

Authorities believe the videotaped encounter occurred sometime between April and August 2003 when the toddler's mother was living with a friend's family in an apartment in Las Vegas. The friend's mother was Stiles' girlfriend.

A man who said he discovered the video in the desert about 60 miles west of Las Vegas gave it to authorities in rural Nye County in September 2007. Darrin Tuck later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct a public officer for a delay in turning in the video.

With evidence of a sex crime on a toddler but neither the victim nor the abuser identified, investigators released images from the video in the search for both people.

By the time Stiles was arrested in October 2007 in Henderson he was also identified as the a fugitive in a case involving the 6-year-old girl. Prosecutors said he molested the older child in Las Vegas in late 2003.

Stiles could have faced a maximum theoretical sentence of 308 years to life. A state Parole and Probation Department report recommended Stiles get 88 years to life.

The judge folded 14 sentences together, ran eight sentences eight back-to-back, and ended with a sentence ensuring that Stiles can't seek parole for 140 years.


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