A Nampa man who, along with his fiancee, pleaded guilty to trying to set up a sexual encounter with an 11-year-old child last fall, will serve a rider prison term as a result.
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing for Mark Titgen, 35, 4th District Court Judge Samuel Hoagland sentenced him to a fixed three years in prison with a possible 11 more after that — but only if Titgen does not do well in the rider program.
That’s because, as John Dinger, the case’s prosecutor pointed out, Titgen wasn’t actually the instigator in the case — his 26-year-old fiancee, Kimberly Reidenbach, was.
“(Reidenbach) found a child that she wanted them to molest together, and while (Titgen) didn’t seek this out, he was certainly a willing participant,” Dinger said in court, according to an audio recording of the hearing.
Once Reidenbach found the child in question, the two contacted the child’s father about having sex with the child in late October or early November. The child’s father, Dinger said, went to police. An Ada County Sheriff’s deputy then began to text back as if they were the child’s father — and agreed to meet at a set time and location.
Once Titgen and Reidenbach arrived at that location, though, police arrested them.
“He says he doesn’t believe he needs treatment and tells the doctor he only went to have sex with the child because his fiancee wanted him to,” Dinger said. “What’s important is that she’s still his fiancee, so there’s the worry that she’ll still be pulling the strings.”
Titgen never intended to do anything except plead guilty to the charge he faced, which was attempted lewd and lascivious conduct with a child younger than 16 years old, said Robert Chastain, his attorney.
“Clearly it’s a situation where his behavior was not something that he’s proud of, but it’s also a situation where he’s not irredeemable,” Chastain said.
There is, Chastain said, a rider program specifically designed for sex offenders. Hoagland believed it would be a good fit for Titgen. The judge told Titgen, “The bottom line is you couldn’t really tell anybody why it is that you did this, and I think that the sexual offender treatment program will help you answer that question.”
Hoagland also pointed out Titgen didn’t have any prior felonies and noted he’d only brushed with the law once before, for possession of marijuana in Las Vegas.
“While certainly the fear of what could’ve happened here is always foremost in the public’s mind, what really happened here was he got caught by police before anything could happen,” Chastain told the judge. “Not particularly sophisticated, not particularly well-thought-out by either party. The man can learn, the man can make a new life for himself, and I think the rider program will provide him that opportunity.”
Reidenbach is scheduled for sentencing March 28.