Sentence stands in Nuss case

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SANDPOINT — A 1st District Court judge is standing by the sentence she imposed against a Bonner County man convicted by a jury of lewd and lascivious conduct.

Nuss, was given a seven- to 15-year prison term after jurors found him guilty last fall. Judge Barbara Buchanan imposed the sentence on Dec. 19, 2017.

Elijah Zachariah Nuss argued for a reduced sentence because he has full-time work lined up and is the sole provider for his family, according to court documents.

Bonner County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank opposed the motion for a reduced sentence during a hearing on Friday in district court.

Buchanan acknowledged Nuss’s dissatisfaction with the sentence, but noted that he has failed to accept responsibility for his conduct and has a prior criminal record.

Nuss, 34, was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl in 2014. The allegations didn’t emerge until early 2016, when the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare turned over a note the alleged victim wrote to a friend to Bonner County sheriff’s investigators.

In it, the teen disclosed that Nuss had been having sex with her and she was under orders to keep quiet about it, court records indicate.

Nuss pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The teen testified she wrote the note to unburden herself and gave it to a friend, court records indicate. The note was subsequently discovered by the boy’s guardian, who testified during the trial that she kept the note and waited for him to speak with her about it. She ultimately confronted him about the note. The guardian turned the note over to Health & Welfare.

A jury of six men and six women found Nuss guilty on Sept. 14, following a two-day trial.

Nuss was charged with rape in Bonner County in 2004, although the charge was amended to felony injury to a child via plea agreement, according to the Idaho Supreme Data Repository. Nuss was given a one- to seven-year term and was released in 2006.

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