By Kelsey Givens
A man charged with molesting an 11-year-old girl and possessing child pornography was sentenced to a maximum of 12 years in the Nevada Department of Corrections by a District Court judge on Friday.
Chris Jon “CJ” Rossitto, 39, pled guilty to one count of sexually motivated coercion by force and one count of possession of child pornography as part of a plea deal he accepted in late 2012.
He was originally arrested in the case in October based on information uncovered during a two-month investigation conducted by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office beginning in August.
An NCSO detective reportedly received a report at the beginning of that investigation that Rossitto had molested a Pahrump child.
When confronted about the accusation, Rossitto admitted to the allegation and further told police additional information about his misconduct.
Police then obtained a search warrant for the man’s home where they found additional evidence of child pornography in his possession.
Rossitto was taken into NCSO custody at that time, where he remained until his sentencing last week.
A woman speaking on behalf of the victim testified during the hearing, describing for the court the pain he had put the girl through.
“Right now, due to more than just this, she has been diagnosed with PTSD, and she is in counseling as well as basic skills training,” the woman told the court. “He has been well aware of her psychological difficulties ever since she was 2. He was a trusted and loved almost-member of the family — they called him uncle. The victim at this point is probably going to be suffering from these problems for the rest of her life. … She was born with problems, she’s autistic, and she has physical and mental problems. He knew all of this prior to doing this to her and I feel because of this, he should receive the maximum sentence for both counts.”
After hearing from someone on the victim’s side, Judge Kimberly Wanker asked Rossitto if he had anything he would like to say before she handed down his sentence.
“Your honor, I just wanted the victim and witness to know that I am extremely, sincerely sorry for my actions and appreciate her taking the stand. I will never do this again,” he said.
Despite his apology to the victim and court, Wanker decided to sentence Rossitto to the maximum sentence possible on all charges.
Rossitto received a sentence of 28 to 72 months on each of the two counts he pled guilty to, which Wanker set to run consecutively to one another. He will have to serve the sentence on count one in its entirety before he can begin serving time on count two.
In addition to his prison sentence, Rossitto will also be subjected to lifetime sex offender registry requirements.
“Mr. Rossitto, I realize you have no criminal record, but I don’t think it is ever acceptable to take advantage of children,” the judge told him after she handed down the sentence. “I will tell you the hardest cases I see in this courtroom are the ones where children have been exploited or abused. And in this case, this young lady, from my review of the file, had some physical and mental disabilities and she trusted you. So if you wonder why I sentenced you to the max as provided by the laws of the state of Nevada, that’s why.”