A young man was sentenced to jail Monday for child enticement, after he sent sexually charged texts to a North Platte teenager.Justin Padgett, 24, will spend 180 days in jail, Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands declared.
Padgett was arrested after North Platte Police Investigator John Deal was contacted by the Holdrege Police department regarding enticement.
Padgett worked at Janssen Motors in Holdrege, and a fellow employee had seen Padgett’s Facebook page, which contained sexually charged conversations between Padgett and a girl under the age of 16.
Deal found the girl. She was interviewed at the Bridge of Hope child advocacy center. She said she’d talked to someone named Justin. She said he sent pictures of himself to her and they had planned to “meet up.”
Deputy County Attorney Angela Franz called for jail time.
“The pre-sentence investigation did not recommend probation,” she said. “And based upon the serious nature of the offense with a 15-year-old girl, including highly inappropriate communication, I would ask for a period of incarceration.”
Padgett’s attorney Richard Calkins said his client is facing a sexual assault charge in Hall County and scheduled to appear in court there on Aug. 22.
But Calkins argued that other than that, his client had “very little” prior criminal history. He said the pre-sentence investigation report puts Padgett at low risk of reoffending.
“He has never been placed on probation, so there would be no reason for the court to believe he would not successfully complete it,” Calkins said.
Rowlands said with charges pending in another county, it makes sentencing difficult.
“I did see in the report that you were given a general discharge from the U.S. Air Force because of a larceny conviction,” Rowlands said. “As your attorney said, the PSI ranked you as a low-risk to reoffend, but did not give you a favorable probation recommendation.”
“Based upon the evidence and the seriousness of the crime, I am giving you the jail sentence,” Rowlands said as he issued the 180 days.
Padgett will have to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years.
He has already served 78 days in jail, for which he received credit.