Ex-Douglas High teacher pleads guilty to sexual-conduct charge

MINDEN - Retired Douglas High School teacher Richard Booth pleaded guilty Monday to sexual conduct with a student, admitting he had an inappropriate contact with a 16-year-old student a year ago.

The Douglas County District Attorney's Office has agreed to ask for probation without jail time at Booth's sentencing March 14 before District Judge Michael Gibbons. Booth, 56, will be required to register as a felon, but not as a sex offender under the law.

He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined $10,000.

Booth answered, "Yes, sir," when Gibbons asked if he understood the consequences of his guilty plea.

As a felon, he may lose the right to vote, serve on a jury, hold public office or certain jobs, and the right to own firearms.

Booth's lawyer, Tod Young, asked Gibbons to schedule extra time for the sentencing because he plans to call witnesses on behalf of the veteran science teacher.

"You are admitting some sort of sexual behavior with a student at the school where you were teaching. Is that true?" Gibbons asked.

"Yes, sir," Booth answered.

Both Young and prosecutor Dina Salvucci have said Booth did not have sexual intercourse or oral sex with the girl, who was 16 when the incident occurred.

Douglas County deputies said the girl reported the incident in late September to a parent, who contacted the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. According to reports, the contact occurred in January 2004 while Booth was on leave from the school district and awaiting deployment with his National Guard unit.

He has since retired from the guard and the school district where he was employed for 28 years.

Rich Alexander, Douglas County School District assistant superintendent of human resources, said it was up to the Nevada Department of Education whether Booth faces penalties regarding suspension of his teacher's license or his retirement benefits because of his conviction.

Contact Sheila Gardner at sgardner@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 214.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment