Life sentence given to man who molested girl |

Life sentence given to man who molested girl

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A former Carson City man was sentenced to 10 years to life in prison on Monday for the 2007 sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl.

Leonard Stossel, 30, was arrested in April in Illinois on a Carson City warrant and pleaded guilty in Carson City District Court on May 5 to a charge of lewdness with a minor. A charge of sexual assault was dismissed.

Sometime between Aug. 8, 2007, and Sept. 15, 2007, Stossel sexually fondled the girl and had her perform a sex act on him.

The girl’s mother testified that her daughter would have nightmares about the abuse even before the child told anyone what had happened.

“That precious baby girl would wake up at night screaming in complete horror, ‘No, don’t touch me.’ ‘Owwy, that hurts,'” the mother said.

When the child did come forth with the allegation, her mother called Stossel, who had moved to Illinois by that time, and he admitted to the molestation.

The victim’s mother burst into tears the moment Stossel walked into the courtroom Monday. She cried throughout her testimony. But at the end of her statement, when she asked the judge to sentence Stossel to the maximum, her anger was evident as she stared down her daughter’s assailant.

“Although (my daughter’s) screams will fade” she said, “may they fade into your ears to play over and over again, and may you feel her pain with every single beat of your heart.”

Stossel declined to comment in court. At his direction, his attorney, Marcie Flygare, offered nothing on his behalf.

In a written statement to the court, Stossel laid out the details of the assault and also his own disbelief at his actions.

“When the incident was over, I was very upset at myself for what I did,” he wrote. “I’m very sorry for what I did … I plan to spend the rest of my life doing my best to make up for what I did.”

District Judge Todd Russell sentenced Stossel to the maximum, saying:

“I don’t believe there’s any excuse for your actions. Your actions are intolerable, I hope you understand that.”

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