A Fremont man convicted of having sex with a 10-year-old child was sentenced to a lengthy prison term Thursday Morning in Dodge County District Court.
Robert J. Neiss, 37, was sentenced by District Court Judge John Samson to spend the next 35-60 incarcerated in the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Samson, who normally holds bench in Washington and Burt counties, oversaw the sentencing in Judge Geoffrey Hall’s absence.
After pleading not-guilty in December to a string of offenses relating to the sexual assault of a child, Neiss agreed to a plea agreement March 15 stating that he would plead guilty to first-degree sexual assault of a child, a Class IB felony; which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. With the agreement, Dodge County Attorney Oliver Glass agreed to not pursue a life imprisonment.
Following the plea deal, a pre-sentence investigation was ordered, which showed that Neiss was at high-risk to reoffend. Prior to sentencing, Neiss signed the Nebraska Sex Offenders Registry Act, and Judge Samson went through the parameters of the Act with the defendant.
Per state stature under the Good Time Law of Nebraska, Neiss could be eligible for parole in 25 years; meaning he would be 62 years old.
The child who was violated, Glass said while presenting his pre-sentence argument to Samson, lies somewhere on the autism spectrum. Neiss, arrested in October 2016, sexually abused the child for a little more than a year, an arrest affidavit shows.
“This young (child) is on the autism spectrum and has communication issues, and at this point I don’t know what kind of treatment this young (child) is in at this stage of (the child’s) life, but I can only surmise that it’s very difficult,” Glass said. “The defendant and this young (child) have to live with what happened the rest of their lives, but there is absolutely no culpability on the part of the victim. They both have to live with this for the rest of their lives, but if it wasn’t for the defendant this little (child) would never have been put in this situation.”
While incarcerated, Neiss will be required to complete numerous classes relating to being a child predator, Samson said. Just before sentencing, Neiss had the opportunity to make a statement.
“I agree with what Mr. Glass has said about me,” Neiss said. “I ruined (the child’s life) and (the child’s) mother’s life. I have nothing to say in my own defense other than that I am sorry. I wish it had never happened and I wish a lot of things didn’t happen, but that doesn’t make it untrue and I deserve to be punished.”