Press Release: People v. Wiidanen, Ladd Douglas, 7/23/10
July 23, 2010
Bradford R. Fenocchio
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: July 23, 2010
Public Information Officer
Assistant District Attorney
ROCKLIN RESIDENT GETS SIX-MONTH JAIL
TERM FOR SEX ACT WITH SLEEPING MAN
A 42-year-old Rocklin resident was sentenced today to six months in jail and was placed on probation for three years for committing a sex act on a man who was asleep in a guest room the morning after a New Year’s Eve party.
Ladd Douglas Wiidanen was also ordered by Placer County Superior Court Judge J. Richard Couzens to obtain psychological counseling and treatment for alcohol abuse. He must also register as a sex offender.
A jury convicted Wiidanen on March 18 of committing a sex act on an unconscious person, a felony crime. The jury took less than 90 minutes to reach a guilty verdict, said prosecutor Todd Kuhnen of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office.
Wiidanen and the victim were among guests at a house party in Rocklin on the night of Dec. 31, 2007. The victim and his girlfriend retired to a guest room during the early-morning hours of Jan. 1.
At about 7 a.m., the victim was awakened by the defendant committing an oral act on him.
Rocklin police were called to the home and took DNA samples, which were forwarded to the California Department of Justice for analysis. Because of a heavy backlog of cases, the DOJ didn’t match the DNA samples to Wiidanen until 22 months after the 2008 New Year’s Day incident.
Wiidanen’s blood alcohol level was measured at more than .20 percent on Jan. 1, 2008.
Earlier this month, as Wiidanen awaited his sentencing, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in Rocklin. He is scheduled for arraignment on August 12.
Judge Couzens told Wiidanen today that “this drives home the fact that you have a severe alcohol problem.” Couzens stressed the importance of counseling and of treatment for alcohol abuse.
“I feel you are a good person,” he told Wiidanen. “But you need to turn (things) around.”
Wiidanen apologized repeatedly in a brief statement to the court and he acknowledged his drinking problem. He said he has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous classes.
“I’m trying to get help,” he said.
Couzens said Wiidanen must serve at least 45 days of his county jail sentence before being eligible to apply for alternative sentencing, which could include work release programs or ankle monitoring. Wiidanen must begin serving his jail time on Sept. 2, the judge ordered.
Kuhnen, the prosecutor, said the defendant’s case was a sad one.
“This case is an example of the effects that the abuse of alcohol can have on somebody’s life,” he said.