Treatment at jail plays role

A convicted sex offender was sentenced to 60 months in prison Wednesday after a federal judge ruled he should receive a break because of the treatment he got at the North Las Vegas Detention Center.

Prosecutors pushed for 71 months for Kevin Curtin, 44, who has been incarcerated since his 2004 arrest. But U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson imposed the maximum minimum for sex offenders, in part because Curtin already has spent four years in jail.

Curtin's attorney, Cal Potter lll, argued that his client should receive leniency because of the conditions at the North Las Vegas jail. Potter said Curtin was segregated from other inmates and only was allowed outside his cell for a half-hour at midnight.

"He didn't even get to see the sun; he was able to go out at midnight," Potter said. "This is worse than Guantanamo Bay in some cases."

Potter said that although most inmates are allowed to check out three books at a time, Curtin was cut off after he read three books total.

Dawson said he would take into consideration the fact that conditions at the jail are not ideal. He noted one reason that Curtin was segregated was because several Aryan Warrior members awaiting trial are in the facility.

"He is a convicted sex offender," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Koppe. "For his own safety, he is segregated."

Curtin engaged in conversations with a Las Vegas police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl on the Internet. Curtin pressed the "girl" about her sexual urges and set up a meeting with her in Las Vegas. He was met by authorities when he showed up at the Rio hotel-casino bowling alley.

He initially was convicted of traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and coercion in 2004.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in 2006 after Potter argued that prosecutors should not have been permitted to read aloud lewd stories Curtin had when he was arrested. They described sexual acts between children and adults.

A jury convicted Curtin of the same charges earlier this year.