The man who found a child pornography tape that led to a nationwide manhunt for Chester Stiles avoided jail time Tuesday during a sentencing hearing in Nye County.
A Nye County judge gave Darrin Tuck a one-year suspended sentence and three years of probation. Tuck in February pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct a public officer, a gross misdemeanor.
He was facing a felony count of possession of child pornography.
“He’s happy to get this behind him and to clear his name,” said Chris Rasmussen, Tuck’s attorney.
If convicted of the child pornography charge, he could have been required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Tuck told authorities he found the videotape in the desert in May but didn’t turn it over to authorities until September. He told authorities he was scared to turn the tape over.
Authorities said the video showed Stiles sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl. Discovery of the tape triggered a multi-state search for Stiles, who was arrested on Oct. 15 in Henderson during a routine traffic stop.
The girl in the videotape was later found to be safe and living with her mother in Las Vegas. An attorney for the girl told the media she has no memory of the incident.
Stiles is facing more than 20 felony charges in connection with the videotaped sexual assault of the girl and the molestation of another girl. He is scheduled to go to trial in mid-April, but the case probably will be postponed.