Maximum sentence ordered in child sexual assault case.
A 32-year-old Nehawka man was sentenced to five years in the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Brian J. Kaluza had pleaded guilty to third degree sexual assault of a child, a Class IIIA Felony.
The Cassgram reports he had originally been charged with first degree sexual assault: statutory (age 12-15), a Class II Felony. The plea deal contained no agreement on sentencing.
Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox said Kaluza had sexual contact with a then 13-year-old girl in Nehawka last November.
Cox argued for the 5-year maximum for the Class IIIA Felony. Cox said even though Kaluza tried to portray it as an isolated incident, there was evidence “he knew what he did was wrong and planned to do it again.”
Defense attorney James Martin Davis argued for a sentence that would have some jail time at first and then five years of probation. “There’s no reason to max my client …there is no (previous criminal) record whatsoever.” Davis said it would benefit everyone more if Kaluza could continue to work so he could pay his child support and pay the counseling bills for the victim.
Cass County District Court Judge Randall Rehmeier said he had received about 20 letters from people associated with the victim, who is now 14. He also read excerpts from a letter from the victim who also asked for the maximum sentence. In her letter she said she has “nightmares and flashbacks” about the incident. “What is clear is that there was a significant impact on the girl,” said Rehmeier.
Rehmeier said he received about 15 letters of support for Kaluza.
Kaluza had been free on $50,000 bond since his arrest. He was placed into custody immediately after the hearing. Under Nebraska law, he must serve 2½ years before he is eligible for release.