Dodge County District Court

Dodge County Courthouse.

A Fremont man was sentenced to a year in prison in Dodge County District Court on Monday after he failed to comply with the verification requirements of the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act.

Michael S. Sladek, 44, has been on the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry since he was convicted of attempted forcible sexual abuse in 1999. According to an arrest warrant from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, he failed to complete his mandatory verification status in October 2018 as required.

Chief Deputy Attorney for Dodge County Sara Sopinski asked District Court Judge Hall for a prison sentence in the case, noting that a pre-sentence investigation “doesn’t paint a very nice picture of his ability to be successful on probation.”

Among the investigation’s findings: Sladek had been arrested eight prior times for failing to verify his sex offender registration, with several of those instances ending in conviction. He faced two prior revocations of probation and is facing separate domestic violence charges that came about in the last four months.

Sladek, in fact, had initially been charged with a class IIA felony of failure to comply with the sex offender act as a subsequent offense, punishable by zero to 20 years in prison. But he pleaded in February to the reduced charge of failure to comply, a class IIIA felony, punishable by zero to three years in prison, as part of an agreement with the state.

Defense attorney Arturo Perez pointed out that Sladek had registered his address in 2018 when he first moved to Fremont as required. He was required to verify his address the following month for his birthday, but had been dealing with an ongoing domestic conflict, which had also led to him serving jail time. Perez said that this was “not an excuse,” but asked the court to consider these developments as “mitigating circumstances” and asked Hall for a probation sentence.

Perez also noted that the underlying charge occurred nearly 20 years ago, that Sladek is “gainfully employed” and that Sladek tried to contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office when he learned he had missed his deadline to verify.

“I do have a good job. I’ve been there for four years,” Sladek said in court. “I’d like the chance to prove that I can do probation.”

Ultimately, Hall handed down the prison sentence, citing the eight prior arrests for failing to verify his address, and Sladek’s performance during the pre-sentence investigation, that made it seem as though he didn’t want probation.

“This record tells me that for whatever reason, you have decided to ignore the law, disobey the law,” Hall said. “I understand that this law can be confusing — if there were one or two previous violations — but there’s eight charges.”

Sladek received credit for 95 days previously served. Under Nebraska’s Good Time Law, Sladek will have to serve a minimum of six months in prison.

In other news from district court hearings on Monday:

*Jeromy Henrichson, 27, of Fremont pleaded no contest to one charge of child abuse, a class IIIA felony, punishable by as part of a plea agreement with the Dodge County Attorney’s Office. Sentencing was set for May 6. As part of the agreement, the state will not object to a sentence of probation as long as Henrichson complies with a pre-sentence investigation. According to a police affidavit, Henrichson struck a minor repeatedly, which led to extensive bruising.

*Sunset P. Tillman, 21, of Fremont admitted to violating the terms of her Drug Court bond after absconding from Drug Court, the county’s program to provide treatment to drug offenders in lieu of a prison sentence. She was sentenced to the maximum two-year sentence on the charge that first landed her in Drug Court: a class IV felony of possession of a controlled substance. She received credit for 34 days previously served as well as 12 months of post-release supervision.

*Ronnie Avila Jr., 29, of Fremont pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a class IV felony, which, while carrying a presumption of probation, is punishable by zero to two years in prison. And Jordyn Hansen, 18, pleaded guilty to two class IV felonies: possession of a controlled substance and criminal impersonation, the latter of which coming after she gave a false identity to officers at the time of her arrest.