FORMER LAS VEGAS SUN WRITER
Columnist sentenced in N.Y. child-sex sting
A longtime celebrity gossip columnist who used to write for the Las Vegas Sun was sentenced Friday in New York to six years in prison for soliciting sex over the Internet from an undercover FBI agent posing as a 13-year-old girl.
Timothy McDarrah, who once worked on the New York Post’s “Page Six” feature and last worked as editor of the “Hot Stuff” column at US Weekly magazine, held back tears during his appearance in a Manhattan courtroom.
“Why did I do this?” he asked U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty.
McDarrah’s attorney blamed his client’s conduct on an Internet addiction. McDarrah, who had legal trouble years ago when he battled heroin addiction, apologized to his family for ruining his life a second time.
“I’m at rock bottom once again,” he said.
McDarrah, 43, was convicted of attempted child enticement in December after an eight-day trial.
The writer was caught in the FBI’s sting after he responded to a classified ad on craigslist.com offering introductions to the “freshest, youngest” girls in New York. The FBI had posted the ad to lure pedophiles.
McDarrah will have to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.
ACCIDENT AT THE MIRAGE
Worker who died in elevator identified
An elevator maintenance worker who fell to his death Feb. 13 was identified as Brad R. Jordan of Las Vegas.
The 48-year-old was working on the 30th floor of The Mirage when he fell through an open elevator shaft and landed on top of an empty service car five stories below, authorities said.
Jordan was employed by ThyssenKrupp Elevator.
The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating the accident.
Sex with underage bride draws probation
A northern Arizona man prosecuted for sexual relations with an underage bride assigned to him through the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been sentenced after entering a plea agreement.
Vergel Jessop, 47, of Colorado City pleaded no contest to child abuse for sexual relations six years ago with a 17-year-old girl who subsequently bore their child.
The woman alleged to be the victim and other supporters accompanied Jessop at his Friday sentencing in Kingman, Ariz., before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steve Conn. The judge noted that Jessop’s case was being resolved with a lesser conviction and punishment more favorable than some other defendants in similar circumstances.
Conn said that the inability to prove the sex took place in Arizona prompted the state to settle for a child abuse conviction with a no jail guarantee and three years’ probation.
The judge ruled that Jessop, who has 14 children, must register as a sex offender while on probation but won’t have to when the offense would be designated as a misdemeanor upon completion of probation.
Ex-guard imprisoned for smuggling drugs
A former guard at Mule Creek State Prison in California was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for smuggling methamphetamine and delivering it to inmates, Sacramento County prosecutors said.
John Charles Whittle, 47, a 22-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, pleaded guilty in March.
Whittle, who has retired, admitted that he was paid $5,150 to smuggle the drugs into the Amador County prison, prosecutors said. He forfeited the money as part of a plea deal.