Incline Village child abuse suspect acquitted by jury

Nicholas Lightfoot, Copyright: Ristenpart Law
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INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (KOLO) - UPDATE: Per his attorney, Nicholas Lightfoot has been acquitted by a jury of all charges alleging felony child abuse.

The case centered on a party held at the Hyatt at Incline Village. The abuse claims came from a child of one of Lightfoot's real estate clients.

Lightfoot's attorney, Theresa Ristenpart, said in a release, "Witnesses described how the children were running around and jumping from bed to bed playing all afternoon. After the party, one child, age six, claimed Mr. Lightfoot picked up her three-year-old brother and threw him across the room into a table. Paramedics testified that the three-year-old had no injuries. Mr. Lightfoot and many other adult witnesses from the party all testified that nothing the six-year-old claimed occurred."

The jury deliberated less than an hour before returning the acquittal decision.

OCTOBER 21, 2018 UPDATE: Nicholas Lightfoot, was booked and released from jail and is back home with his family, according to his lawyer, Theresa Ristenpart.

In a statement, Ristenpart said:

"On October 19, 2018, we were informed by news media that a warrant had just been issued regarding Mr. Lightfoot. We confirmed the warrant with WCSO and immediately made arrangements for Mr. Lightfoot to voluntarily turn himself in. Mr. Lightfoot went through the booking process, was released, and is home with his family.

"We continue to be astounded by WCSO actions, or lack thereof, in this
investigation. Mr. Lightfoot has cooperated and been available to WCSO this entire time. We provided names and contact information for at least seven direct eyewitnesses all of whom were at this celebration and directly dispute the allegation. Not once has WCSO even attempted to contact or question these eyewitnesses. WCSO waited six months before getting a warrant and never reached out to Mr. Lightfoot or his counsel.

"Mr. Lightfoot will continue to fight against this false allegation."

ORIGINAL STORY: The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office continues to look for information about the whereabouts of felony child abuse suspect Nicholas Lightfoot. A warrant has been issued for Lightfoot’s arrest on one charge of felony child abuse and one charge of misdemeanor domestic battery.

Investigators say Lightfoot, who is 39, was last known to be in the Incline Village area in April 2018, but they think he may have left the area.

Lightfoot may be driving a white 2011 Porsche Panamera with Nevada license plate number LT43263. A stock photo of a similar vehicle is attached to this story.

Investigators say Lightfoot had been scheduled to surrender, but never showed up, and they haven't been able to find him at his home or business.

Anyone with information about Lightfoot’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 785-328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900. Refer to case number WC18-2052. Secret Witness is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and prosecution in this case.

In response to the search when the call for information first went out in May 2018, Lightfoot's lawyer, Theresa Ristenpart, issued the following statement:

"Since being made aware of this allegation, Mr. Nick Lightfoot has been fully cooperative with WCSO. Through this attorney, Theresa Ristenpart, Mr. Lightfoot has been in constant communication with the Incline court and deputies."

The statement continued, "To date, there has not been sufficient evidence for an arrest warrant and WCSO has not reached out to Mr. Lightfoot since May 3. Washoe County Sheriffs Office’s information is purposely misrepresenting the situation in a blatant attempt to influence public opinion against an innocent man."

In response, Sheriff's spokesman Bob Harmon said there is probable cause in this case, saying, "Lightfoot is the subject of an ongoing child abuse investigation; therefore he needs to turn himself in."

Photo courtesy Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Car similar to suspect vehicle. Photo courtesy WCSO.