Sex offender to be sent back to Canada |

Sex offender to be sent back to Canada

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

RENO – A convicted sex offender from Carson City will be sent back to Canada to face charges in a 1979 brutal child rape there, a U.S. magistrate determined Monday.

Judge Robert A. McQuaid Jr. disagreed with defense assertions that the DNA evidence in the case was not sufficient, and he found that there was probable cause to send Wilbur James Ventling, 63, back to Vernon, British Columbia.

Ventling will be tried in the rape of a 9-year-old girl he allegedly lured into the woods nearly three decades ago. Ventling has been in custody since his arrest in October on the Canadian warrant charging him with rape and causing bodily harm with intent to wound.

Court records reveal DNA taken from Ventling at the time of his arrest matched DNA found at the scene of the crime. The results confirmed a DNA match made in 2005 when a Canadian officer reviewing the unsolved rape case submitted evidence for international DNA comparison and found a match with Ventling, who had been required to submit his DNA to Nevada because of a 1980 conviction as a sex offender.

Ventling was originally arrested in the Vernon rape case in 1979, but disappeared from a psychiatric hospital just a day after being ordered to undergo an evaluation, he later fled to U.S. court documents show.

Canadian officials have 60 days in which to collect Ventling. He remains in federal custody in Reno.

Released from a Nevada prison in 2004, where he served 20 years on a Las Vegas child sexual assault charge, Ventling has lived a quiet existence here. He bought a new home in east Carson City in 2006, and worked as a hairdresser and leather craftsman.

Carson City investigators said the only contact they had with Ventling was Halloween 2006 when they visited sex offenders and warned them against opening their doors to children.

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