CHADRON MAN GIVEN 60-90 YEARS IN MOLESTATION AND CHILD PORN CASE

Posted 1 year ago

By John Axtell

sentencing     A Chadron man originally arrested last May on twelve child pornography counts in a joint Chadron-Rapid City investigation has been sentenced in Dawes County District Court to 60-to-90 years in prison on molestation and porn charges.

James Savery accepted a plea agreement and pled guilty last month to 2 counts of attempted 1st-degree sexual assault of a child and 1 count of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct.

District Judge Travis O’Gorman gave Savery 20-to-30 years on each count and ordered that they be served consecutively. With credit for the 308 days he’s spent in jail since his arrest, Savery will be eligible for parole in 31-1/2-years under Nebraska’s “good time” rules and for mandatory release in 46-1/2-years.

Savery and his attorney…outgoing Dawes County Public Defender and newly-appointed county judge Paul Wess…asked for leniency from O’Gorman while County Attorney Vance Haug pushed for a maximum sentence.

Savery himself addressing O’Gorman directly, saying his time in jail had been the most devastating time of his life and had crushed him. He said he wasn’t excusing his actions and knew that they carried consequences, but insisted he would not repeat them…asking for the mercy he’s seen the court system give others.

Judge O’Gorman was not swayed by Savery’s words, calling the case “a story of betrayal” that damaged the “bodies, psyches, and souls of his victims.”

After the sentencing, Box Butte County Public Defender Jon Worthman was appointed represent Savery and 6 other defendants in Dawes County District Court in place of Wess, who says he’s withdrawing from all his cases as quickly as possible to move onto the bench.

Wess thinks he’ll be able complete the process of withdrawing from cases and closing his private practice shortly after the first of next month. Then he’ll start working under the guidance of two current judges until going to Lincoln this summer for formal training sessions given all new judges.

Wess is filling the seat left vacant by the retirement at the end of 2011 of Judge Charles Plantz. He will be based in Alliance, but will help out in other counties as needed.