Reno, NV… Reno resident Ronald Wenker was sentenced to serve three life terms in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of Sexual Assault and one count of Lewdness with a Minor Under the Age of 14 based on an investigation initiated by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in August of 2012.
Wenker, a former Director of the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, pleaded guilty to all three charges in the 2nd Judicial District Court of Nevada on February 21, 2013 and was sentenced on May 14. Wenker could be eligible for parole after 30 years.
On August 7, 2012, investigators from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office arrested Wenker on multiple charges of Sexual Assault and Lewdness with a Child under the age of 14. It’s believed the sexual abuse occurred multiple times over several years.
The Sheriff’s Office initiated the investigation on Monday, August 6, 2012 at approximately 10:47 p.m., when they were dispatched to an undisclosed residence in Washoe County. Sheriff’s Detectives were called out to continue the investigation. The victim advised Detectives that she had been inappropriately touched by a relative over the course of 5 years. The victim identified Wenker as the relative.
After detectives corroborated what the victim had told them pertaining to Wenker’s acts, Wenker was taken into custody and charged.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that sexual abuse can occur over many years and is often easily concealed or committed by individuals close to the victim. Sexual abuse cases are among the most difficult to investigate as they often require the victim to come forward and disclose the abuse.
Child sexual exploitation should be reported immediately to local law enforcement agencies. Reports can also be made to Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900 or www.secretwitness.com, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at cybertipline.org.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.