Chadron man seeks sentence change to concurrent
A young Chadron man serving 21-to-35 years in prison on 4 convictions for having sex with underage girls wants to have his sentences run at the same time instead of one after the other.
23-year old Ryan Chizek was scheduled for a hearing on his motion in Dawes County District Court this morning, but Judge Travis O'Gorman postponed the matter for a month to June 18 because no arrangements had been made for Chizek to address the hearing from the state prison in Lincoln.
Chizek was convicted in 2010 on one count of 1st degree sexual assault of a minor and 3 counts of 3rd degree sexual assault of a minor, receiving 6-to-20 years on the 1st-degree count and 58-to-60 months for the other 3.
One of the latter counts was overturned by the Nebraska Court of Appeals on technical grounds, and Chizek eventually pleaded no contest to an amended charge of attempted 1st degree sexual assault of a minor...receiving the same 58-to-60 month consecutive sentence.
Special prosecutor Jamian Simmons, who opposes any change in the sentences, says Chizek offers multiple grounds for his request to change them from consecutive, which make him eligible for parole in 2020, to concurrent terms, which would make him eligible for parole this year.
Simmons says Chizek feels that he's now a different person because of counseling and other programs he's taken while in prison, and that multiple charges should not have been brought because all were the result of a single pattern of behavior even though there were multiple victims...4 girls who were between 11 and 15 when they had sex with Chizek.
An affidavit filed in one of the cases quoted a police officer as saying all the girls considered themselves active participants and not victims...with one bragging to police that she'd had 4 different sex partners. Chizek was 19 at the time and under Nebraska law, it's illegal for someone 19 or older to have sex with a partner 16 or under...regardless of consent.
O'Gorman is the third judge to hear the Chizek case. Judge Brian Silverman...now retired...presided over the trial while Judge Randy Lippstreu accepted the no contest plea and issued the one new sentence. Judge Silverman called Chizek a "person who preys upon young girls" that perhaps even prison programs couldn't help stop being a pedophile.
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