Dad pays $159,000 in child support |

Dad pays $159,000 in child support

Appeal Staff Writer

A former Reno baseball player is expected to plead guilty to charges he failed to support his daughter and ex-wife to the tune of $159,000.

Rodney Allen Leisle, 47, appeared in Carson City Justice Court on Wednesday and waived his preliminary hearing.

Leisle turned himself in to the Carson City Sheriff’s Department on Sept. 25 on a warrant issued in 1999 for failure to appear at a support hearing, said his former wife Theresa Economy of Carson City.

Economy said when the marriage dissolved, Leisle failed to pay support for the couple’s daughter. He owes Economy and her daughter $159,000 in back child support and alimony for the past six years. Leisle once played baseball for the now-defunct Reno Padres, she said.

“One of the reasons he was picked up was through constant persistence,” she said following the hearing. “I made numerous phone calls over the years and everyone pretty much told me to just forget it.”

She said the couple’s daughter, now 17, maintained contact with her father and when he decided to turn himself in on the warrant she accompanied him.

Economy said she was motivated by a desire to give her daughter what she deserved.

“There’s so many deadbeat parents that are out there and they get away with it and their kids grow up without adequate opportunities,” she said. “It’s wrong to deprive your kids of basic needs. If you don’t want to support them, don’t have them.”

Justice of the Peace Robey Willis declined to release Leisle without bail, instead reducing his bail to $5,000, He said he “felt funny” releasing Leisle because it took so long for him to turn himself in on the warrant.

Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer said in the terms of the plea agreement Leisle has agreed to pay $550 a month beginning Nov. 1. In exchange, Langer will drop a charge of felony failure to pay spousal support.

“If the payment is not made in the first 10 days of the month, it would equate a violation of his bail,” Langer said.

When asked by Willis why he turned himself in, Leisle, dressed in jail garb, said, “I can’t keep running. I have to get something settled here.” He said he will live with friends in Florence, Ore., after his release.

Leisle’s son from his first marriage, Rodney Jr., is a defensive tackle for the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins.