Local News


Family demands change in law after man admits assault during police job interview

'Antiquated law' protecting child molester
Posted at 9:56 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 16:09:21-04

A Clark County family is calling for a change to what a spokesperson is calling an "antiquated law" he claims is protecting a child molester.

While calling for change, the family is working to protect their identity to keep their child from learning about the crime.

Instead, Stephen Stubbs is speaking on their behalf.

"To see the parent's reaction was excruciating," Stubbs said of being in the room as the child's parents were told of the crime. "The pain that they feel is horrible." 

Stubbs said Las Vegas police detailed a confession from a man applying for a job with the department, telling the family he admitted to sexually assaulting the child as an infant.

The attorney said he was told the first confession came during the polygraph portion of the application process and continued as officers passed along the information.

"[He] Again admitted to the detective that he sexually gratified himself," Stubbs said.

Stubbs said Las Vegas police did not hire the suspect.

The agency tells 13 Action News the application process is covered by personnel rules, but in general, they fully investigate any crimes uncovered during the applications.

Boulder City Police confirmed they have completed their own investigation into the allegations because they reportedly happened in the city limits.

The police department declining to reveal any information about the results of the investigation adding they have been forwarded to the district attorney who will decide if charges will be filed.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson confirming Thursday the office can not prosecute on the confession alone.

Stubbs says the family already met with prosecutors who said they couldn't charge the suspect because of a nearly 200-year-old law known as corpus delicti.

"You can not convict someone solely on the confession," Stubbs said. "Because he was careful and chose a victim that could not testify or remember. There is no evidence other than his confessions, and because of that he can not be prosecuted."

Stubbs saying the rule leaves the family feeling "justice has been robbed from them."

That's one of the reasons they are calling on Nevada lawmakers to follow the lead of other states in addressing the "legal loophole."

"Twelve other states, for the exact reasons of this case, have modified the corpus delicti rules, starting with New York," Stubbs said. "What the family wants is for the Nevada legislature to change the law to make it, so this could never happen to anyone else again."

Stubbs pointing to AB49 introduced in the Nevada Legislature that included a clause that would have addressed the corpus delicti problem in these types of cases but says the bill was simply too big and the section was removed.

"At committee, they had to cut down the bill, and so they had to decide which ones were more important," Stubbs said.

With the next legislative session just over six months away, Stubbs said the family is talking to potential lawmakers looking for someone to be their voice in Carson City.

"The family desperately wants this to change, so this horrible situation can't happen to anyone else," Stubbs said. "Once they have a champion in the legislator it will make all the difference in the world."

13 Action News has been provided the name of the man at the center of this case but has chosen to withhold his identity since he has not been charged with a crime.