|For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF2041
March 15, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR MOLESTING 5-YEAR-OLD BOY IN PUBLIC RESTROOM
SANTA ANA – A registered sex offender was sentenced today to six years in state prison for molesting a 5-year-old boy in a public restroom. Nicholas James Needham, 28, Laguna Beach, pleaded guilty Oct. 14, 2011, to one felony count of lewd acts on a child under 14. The defendant was sentenced in absentia, as he is currently in federal custody (see below).
At approximately 12:45 p.m. on June 15, 2010, Needham entered a men’s restroom at the Outlets at Orange (formerly known as the Block at Orange). A 5-year-old boy, John Doe, was using the urinal while his mother waited outside. Needham stood next to the victim, reached over, and touched the victim’s penis. The defendant then left the scene. Needham and the victim did not know each other.
John Doe disclosed the sexual assault to his mother, who contacted the Orange Police Department (OPD). OPD investigated the case.
In a subsequent search of the defendant’s home, OPD officers discovered thousands of images and three videos of graphic, amateur child pornography featuring young boys from infancy to early teens.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Needham for the molestation and possession of child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office later assumed the child pornography case, as the defendant’s maximum sentence if convicted would be greater than if prosecuted at the state level.
In February 2012, Needham was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for the child pornography case. His 6-year sentence for the child molest in Orange County will be served concurrent to the federal sentence.
Needham’s lifetime sex offender registration bars him from entering County recreational areas and City parks that have passed the Sex Offender Ordinance. Visit www.orangecountyda.com to read the prior press releases on the County’s Sex Offender Ordinance as well as the 11 other cities that have enacted the Child Safety Zone Ordinance.
Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.