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Sex offender who posed in Arizona as boy, 12, gets 70 years

PRESCOTT – A sex offender who posed as a 12-year-old boy to enroll in several Arizona schools was sentenced to 70 1/2 years in prison Tuesday.

Neil Havens Rodreick II pleaded guilty last year to seven criminal charges as part of a plea deal. Two stemmed from the charade he pulled for two years, but most involved child pornography.

Rodreick, 31, will have to serve virtually the entire sentence.

The youthful-looking former Oklahoma resident wore an orange jail uniform and didn’t speak at his sentencing, shaking his head no when Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Thomas Lindberg asked if he had anything to say before his sentence was handed down.

Lindberg called Rodreick a fixated pedophile and said he should have received an even longer sentence.

“I find your conduct appalling — these were volitional choices you made, consistently deceitful, dishonest, manipulative,” Lindberg said. “I think you represent a danger to the community; you in particular are dangerous to children.”

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said her office was pleased with the outcome of the case, knowing that Rodreick will have to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“This case involved some dangerous sexual predators and they are now off the streets of Yavapai County,” she said.

Authorities didn’t find any victims of sexual abuse at the schools Rodreick attended. But when Rodreick’s ruse was discovered in January 2007, they found an extensive collection of child pornography at his home.

Rodreick had originally faced 28 counts, but pleaded guilty to only a quarter of them. He pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor stemming from the pornography, as well as one count each of failure to register as a sex offender, fraud and simple assault.

The felony fraud and misdemeanor assault charge are the only ones that stem from Rodreick’s involvement at schools. Authorities say he enrolled in school under fraudulent pretenses, and that he grabbed a girl’s buttocks at a school in Prescott Valley with the intent to injure, insult or provoke.

Rodreick attended schools in Surprise, Payson and Prescott Valley starting in 2005, sitting through classes and turning in homework, authorities said. They say he shaved and wore pancake makeup to help him appear younger, convincing teachers, students and administrators that he was a young boy named Casey.

He was caught in January 2007 after spending a day in the seventh grade at a Chino Valley school when officials became suspicious because his birth certificate and other documents looked forged. At the time, they thought they might be dealing with a child who had been abducted.

Rodreick was arrested with Brian J. Nellis, 36, who was posing as Rodreick’s cousin, and two older men posing as the men’s uncle and grandfather.

Authorities said Robert James Snow, 46, and Lonnie Eugene Stiffler, 63, met Rodreick online, thinking he was a pre-teen, took him from Oklahoma to Arizona and carried on a sexual relationship with him.

When authorities searched the four men’s home in Chino Valley, a community northwest of Phoenix, they found more than 600 graphic photos and videos of child pornography and a sex tape that depicts Rodreick and a boy between the ages of 10 and 13 having sex in a motel room.

Nellis, Stiffler and Snow were indicted on various charges, including child pornography and forgery. Nellis and Snow, both convicted sex offenders, were also charged with failing to register with authorities.

Stiffler was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison, and Snow received 22 years.

Nellis was sentenced last month to 51 years in prison — three consecutive 17-year sentences — with no chance of parole.

Before coming to Arizona, Rodreick was convicted in Oklahoma of lewdly propositioning a 6-year-old boy in 1996. He served about six years in prison.

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