A jury trial involving a former Lincoln County sheriff has once again been rescheduled after the defense argued for more time to fully prepare their case. This is the second time a continuance has been given, as the trial was originally set to commence on Aug. 6.
Rene Rodriguez, 40, of Shoshone faces seven felony charges of sexual abuse of a minor under 16, lewd conduct with a minor under 16 and rape. Rodriguez was indicted by a grand jury on April 5 after four witnesses testified. According to the charging document, four of the charges for lewd conduct with a minor are alleged to have occurred in Blaine County, where Rodriguez was a sheriff’s deputy between December 2004 and September 2011. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he resigned voluntarily from his position. He was elected sheriff of Lincoln County in 2016 and resigned from that position following his arrest in April.
At a pretrial conference on Sept.
18, Rodriguez’s public defense at-
torney, Cheri Hicks, argued that more time is needed to prepare given the amount of materials associated with the case. Fifth District Judge Ned Williamson agreed to continue the jury trial, and to extend it, blocking out two weeks in November. A pretrial conference is now scheduled for Nov. 4 and the jury trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 19 and continue to the week of Thanksgiving, if necessary.
Rodriguez has been out on bond since April 18, and a no-contact order between him and his children was amended to allow him to have contact with four of his biological children, under supervision.
According to the grand jury indictment, the first charge of sexual abuse of a minor is alleged to have occurred between Aug. 12, 2005, and Aug. 11, 2006, when the alleged victim was 9. The charges of lewd conduct with a minor under 16 are alleged to have occurred when the alleged victim was 11, 12 and 13 years old. The two rape charges are alleged to have occurred when the alleged victim was 17. If convicted, Rodriguez could face multiple life sentences.