Mesa man gets 35 years in child molestation case

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – A judge on Friday sentenced a Mesa man to 20 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor and 15 years in prison for child molestation, attempted child molestation, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful administration of drugs.

In addition to that prison time – the sentences will run back to back – William Lewis Riedel also got lifetime probation on two other charges.

Riedel, a former family counselor, was arrested in January 2008.

According to investigators, Riedel, who was 43 at the time, convinced his then girlfriend to give her 11-year-daughter sleeping pills – they told the child they were allergy pills – and then the couple took pictures as they molested her. This happened in 2006 and went on for three months.

It all came to light nearly two years later when the daughter of Riedel’s new fiance found the pictures on Riedel’s computer. She told her mother and the mother contacted the police.

Investigators confiscated the computer and found a variety of disturbing images or Riedel with the victim. They said the victim appeared to be drugged or unconscious in all of the pictures. Police said they also found other images depicting child pornography.

Riedel allegedly told investigators he “groomed” the victim’s mother, teaching her and encouraging her to take part in the molestation.

Riedel eventually pleaded guilty to the counts for which Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie sentenced him.