Virgil Apodaca, Jr.
The final sentence in the convoluted court cases against Virgil Apodaca Sr., his three sons and another North Platte man, Anthony Nunnenkamp, was handed down Monday by Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch.
Virgil Apodaca Jr., 22, was convicted of two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. He accepted a plea deal and pled no contest to the charges, and he was sentenced to time served in the county jail, 364 days.
Apodaca was originally charged with two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree sexual assault after three teenage girls said they were raped at two parties in one night in early May 2012. The assaults were said to have taken place at a home at 1303 East Sixth and at the home of Virgil Apodaca Sr. at 420 West F.
Five suspects were charged with various sexual assaults in the case. The hearings plodded along for more than a year in the county and district courts, finally ending with charges being reduced or dropped for all the suspects.
Virgil Apodaca Sr. and his sons Virgil Jr., Anthony and Jeromy along with Anthony Nunnenkamp were charged.
In December 2012 defense attorneys successfully argued that there was no hard evidence connecting either Anthony or Jeromy Apodaca to the crimes. Their charges were dropped.
DNA tests were conducted, but they took six months to complete. When the results arrived, they connected at least one of the Apodacas as well as Nunnenkamp to the women, but they were still inconclusive. Further testing would have been necessary to specify the genetic difference between Virgil Sr. and Virgil Jr.’s DNA profiles, analysts said. And, Nunnenkamp said he had consensual sex, something that prosecutors would have struggled to disprove because the women said they were in and out of awareness that night.
In district court on Aug. 26, Virgil Sr. pled no contest to possession of meth and misdemeanor child abuse, following a deal that dropped two counts of aiding and abetting sexual assault and one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Virgil Sr. was sentenced to 364 days in the county jail with credit for 341 days served and the remaining time wearing a GPS tracking device.
As the hearings proceeded through the courts, Nunnenkamp’s defense attorney successfully argued that the rape charges would be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and negotiated a deal that reduced Nunnenkamp’s charges to second-degree assault. Nunnenkamp received 360 days in the county jail with credit for 120 days he had served awaiting hearings.