Posted Mar 28, 2014 01:40 pm CDT
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday called for impeachment of a Nevada judge who cited a clerical error and reduced a child molester’s sentence to one year in prison.
The judge, Brent Adams of Washoe County, is one of the most respected legal authorities in Nevada, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. He is a member of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline and a faculty member of the National Judicial College. Adams is not seeking re-election this year.
Adams had sentenced Isaac Onsurez, 69, to 10-years-to-life in prison on March 12. A week later, citing a “clerical error,” Adams changed the sentence to a year in jail and five years of probation. He did not provide prosecutors with a more detailed explanation, the Gazette-Journal says.
Onsurez pleaded guilty to lewdness with a minor in December after prosecutors accused him of committing more than 100 sex acts with a child during a two-year-period in the late 1990s, the story says. The girl was 6 years old when the abuse started, according to the Gazette-Journal. The plea deal had indicated a sentence of 10 years to life.
At the time Onsurez committed the crime a probation sentence was allowed under Nevada law. Current law calls for a minimum 10-year sentence.
O’Reilly called for impeachment, although the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has the power to remove judges. “This guy acts like he is the Roman emperor out there, this judge,” O’Reilly said on his television show on Tuesday. “This guy should be impeached immediately.”
The judicial commission can remove a judge for willful misconduct, failing to perform the duties of office or intemperance, the newspaper says. In this case, Adams’ sentence was permitted by law, the story says.
Paul Deyhle, executive director of Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, spoke with the Gazette-Journal about the commission’s authority. “If a judge makes a decision and follows the law, whether right or wrong, our commission does not have jurisdiction to address those issues,” he said.
Updated at 3:44 p.m. to clarify the age of the victim when the abuse began.