Former Mormon missionary spared prison in Vegas child sex case

Associated Press/August 1, 2005

Las Vegas -- A former Mormon missionary accused of molesting two children at a church has agreed to a plea deal sparing him prison time.

John Misseldine will have his convictions dismissed if he completes five years of probation under terms of his plea agreement Thursday in Clark County District Court. He would not have to register as a sex offender.

Misseldine pleaded the equivalent of no contest to one count of attempted lewdness with a child under 14 and one count of coercion.

Prosecutor Stacy Kollins told District Judge Donald Mosley the deal "strikes a balance between justice and community protection."

Defense lawyer Robert Draskovich called the case against Misseldine flawed.

Misseldine, then 21, a Utah college student from Little Rock, Ark., was arrested in October 2003 after he was accused of fondling two girls, ages 4 and 7, in a classroom at a Las Vegas-area Mormon church.

Authorities later found the 4-year-old girl had twice recanted similar accusations against other men.

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