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District court: Two men plead not guilty to sex chargesTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Stephen J. Schaetzle
Courtesy Photo­Image
Dakota Niles

Stephen J. Schaetzle, 28, of Colorado Springs, pled not guilty Monday to one count of sexual assault of a child and is set to return on Sept. 23.

He is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond, or 10% of $100,000.

Schaetzle was arrested July 1 after a young woman came forward in early April and said Schaetzle had assaulted her back in 2006 at a North Platte motel, when she was 14 years old.

There is no statute of limitations on sexual assaults.

Schaetzle, 27, is a student in Colorado Springs. He has been on inactive reserve after serving four years in the U.S. Navy. He was on leave from the Navy when the alleged assault occurred at the motel.

Investigator Michael Dowling of the Nebraska State Patrol said several interviews were conducted that led to the arrest.


Dakota Niles, 22, of North Platte pled not guilty to five counts of sexual assault of a child.

Niles was arrested in October after a 14-year-old girl said she was sexually assaulted at least five times by Niles.

The alleged victim gave her statement during a forensic interview at the Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center. According to a sheriff’s statement, the girl said the first assault occurred in spring 2011 and the last one was in August 2012.

The girl said that Niles, 21 at that time, was fully aware of her age.


Also, Christopher Scala, 34, of North Platte was convicted of attempted failure to register as a sex offender and one count of theft.

Scala pled no contest in a plea deal.

Scala failed to report a change of residence, prosecutors said.

Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Wellan asked for 90 days jail on each charge and District Judge Richard Birch agreed, but he set the 90-day sentences to run at the same time.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/12/2013
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