District Attorney Announces Sentencing of Man to Life Terms for Lewdness Charges
District Attorney Chris Hicks announces sentencing of Sparks man to two consecutive life terms for lewdness charges

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reno, Nevada


The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office announced today the sentencing of Richard Lee Sorter, 70 (DOB 4/9/45), of Sparks to two consecutive life terms for charges of Lewdness with a Child under the Age of 14.  The sentence was handed down Monday by District Court Judge Scott Freeman and ensures that Sorter will have to serve a minimum of 20 years before he can be considered eligible for parole.    

The case against Sorter began when the Sparks Police Department received a report of inappropriate touching of two young female victims known to the defendant.  The subsequent investigation revealed Sorter had been molesting the girls over a period of 5 years.  He was arrested on June 3, 2014 and later pled guilty in July of 2015 to the two sex offenses.  A multi-disciplinary team from the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) consisting of prosecutors from the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, detectives from the Sparks Police Department and authorities with Washoe County Social Services investigated the case.

Both victims gave compelling statements at the sentencing hearing and told Judge Freeman how deeply the abuse affected them. Nevada law gives victims the right to be heard at sentencings.

District Attorney Chris Hicks stated that “Monday’s sentencing demonstrated how destructive these types of crimes are on the victims and the importance of zealously pursuing and punishing these offenders.  The efforts of the exceptional multidisciplinary CAC team of prosecutors, detectives and child advocacy professionals continues to serve these principles.” 

The CAC opened in June, 2014 and to date has conducted over 300 interviews of child victims.

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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »