ELKO – A Lamoille man who has been jailed for more than a year on charges of lewdness and statutory seduction has been denied a federal grand jury investigation after filing a civil rights complaint against Elko judges and the county’s public defender.
Joseph C. Sustacha, 28, claimed he has been refused a jury trial, that he was sexually assaulted by a cellmate in Elko County Jail, and that he is receiving inadequate legal representation and medical care.
Sustacha was arrested in January 2018 at a Spring Creek gas station after being interviewed by two school resource officers, then-Undersheriff Ron Supp told the Elko Daily Free Press at the time.
“They were talking to him about allegations of lewdness with a minor, and in that conversation he admitted to sending pornographic materials to this person and receiving some from this young girl,” Supp said. He also reportedly admitted to having sex with her, Supp said.
Sustacha’s bail was listed at $252,500 when he was booked into jail. His handwritten lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 26.
In an order filed Feb. 21 by U.S. Magistrate William G. Cobb, Sustacha was granted indigent status in the lawsuit because of lack of income. He will be required to pay the $350 filing fee, however, on an installment basis from his prison account.
The magistrate rejected Sustacha’s claim of being denied a speedy criminal trial, saying he first must file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. He also dismissed Sustacha’s other claims, saying they did not contain sufficient facts.
According to court officials, a competency hearing that was recently scheduled for Sustacha has been postponed until June.