[Vision2020] shamelessness


Posted by Jennifer McFarland, Latah County Sheriff’s Office


I will answer as many of these questions as I can with the information I have in the case file. Court records and prosecutorial records must be gathered from those entities. This will be my last posting about this case; I simply do not have time to do the job of an investigative reporter, court clerk, and secretary in addition to my duties at the Sheriff’s Office. I suggest if you are truly interested in this case you take the time to gather the court documents yourself and base whatever opinions about this case off of those rather than off anecdotal comments from parties not involved in the case. I once again must note that decisions about charges and sentences are not made by law enforcement.

On what date did Sitler first confess his pedophilic acts to local law enforcement authorities?

Sitler was not interviewed by local law enforcement authorities (local=any law enforcement agency in Latah County)

To what agency and to whom?

See above

Were there more than one confession to law enforcement authorities? If so, on what dates were these made, to what agency, and to whom?

Again, Sitler was not interviewed by local law enforcement. There are no reports from other agencies in the case file.

On what date(s) was the Latah County Prosecutor first made aware of this confession or confessions?

The PA’s office would have to answer this question

Is it true that Sitler’s confession indicated that he molested other children in the same family of the single victim from whence his conviction arose?

Although the detective’s report alludes to having spoken to someone who mentioned Sitler had made a confession and was cooperating fully with agencies in Colville, there are no reports in the case file detailing the confession

Is it true that his confession indicates that he may have sexually molested as many as 120 children?

See above

On what date was Sitler first arrested or a criminal complaint issued? Was there an arrest or a criminal complaint? Was there ever bail request or set?

The detective wrote an affidavit for a warrant of arrest that was notarized on 6/28/2005. There is no indication in the file that an arrest warrant was issued or served

Please tell us the dates of when Sitler first was jailed (including pre-conviction incarceration).

I can only report those days he has been at the jail as LCSO. I do not have any special access to jail or prison records in other jurisdictions. Sitler was incarcerated at LCSO jail on 9/26/2005 after being sentenced on the felony charge. He was released to the custody of the State on 10/3/2005. He arrived back at LCSO jail on 2/21/2006 on an order of return. He remains in this jail.

After his initial conviction, was he sent to the penitentiary?

When he was released to the custody of the State the DOC and judge decide where to house the inmate. They don’t tell the Sheriff’s Office that sort of detail.

When did he start his post-conviction sojourn in the Latah County Jail?

See jail dates above

Is it true that he is allowed to drive himself unescorted to both Pullman and Clarkston for “counseling?”

By order of the judge, Sitler is allowed to do so

Is it true that he was recently allowed to go unescorted by local law enforcement to renew his driver’s license?

The only in/out comments on Sitler’s jail activity record indicate being in and out for treatment four times since he has been here

Where else has he been allowed to go unescorted by local law enforcement?

The records only indicate him being released for treatment

When he is out unescorted does he wear any kind of working electronic monitoring devices?

Not that I am aware of

Does the LCSD intend to widely circulate posters with Sitler’s photo asking for parents of other possible victims to communicate with the LCSD?

LCSO (we are an office of an elected official, not a department) does not do this in general. As with all sex offenders, when Sitler is released, his picture will appear along with the other sex offenders. He will be given the same treatment by law enforcement as we give all sex offenders. Privileges like work release and treatment release are not given by jail staff or by LEOs; they are given by judges. If Sitler were to escape jurisdiction (like Rossignol) we would send his photo out on the media circuit just as we did with Rossignol. We do not have the money or the resources at LCSO to print and distribute flyers, posters, etc. on every case that offends our sensibilities.

If you are outraged by the response from law enforcement in this case, I suggest you lobby the BOCC for more officers to be added to the force. Currently we all have an average of 43 hours comp time on the books and 154 hours of vacation, each. Our 50 sworn and non-sworn personnel collectively have accumulated 2,140.38 hours or comp and 7,666.35 vacation. The jail is perhaps the most egregiously overworked and underpaid.

I think there is a distorted perception, too, that I have special access to information that I do not and that I have a duty to report about certain things that I do not. I would love to be an endless source of information for you, but I simply do not have the time or resources to get all the information you want. I am swamped from the moment I get in the office until after I was supposed to leave — like most of our officers here, I also come in on days off to take care of details and am called at home at all hours of the night to respond to calls (without monetary compensation, often). Further, a lot of questions I am asked are about areas that are not my responsibility to report upon. Essentially people are asking the Baker for a side of beef. If I had an assistant to help me compile stats, records, records from other agencies or entities, and someone to help my sort that information, you’d probably be happier with the results. However, since I do not have those people helping me it is not unreasonable to take the entities that do have the information you seek to task.

I realize I did not provide much information, but this is what I have access to with our in-house records.

— Jennifer

PIO Jennifer L. McFarland
Latah County Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Officer
PO Box 8068
Moscow, Idaho 83843
(208) 882-2216
Fax (208) 883-2281