Man who pleaded guilty to attempting to have sex with a child will be sentenced next week

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Whether or not he is sentenced to prison Tuesday, a 29-year-old transient with ties to Coeur d’Alene will have to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors also think Nathan H. Matzinger should serve time for trying to have sex with a child while couch surfing at a friend’s house last summer.

First District Judge Cynthia K.C. Meyer will decide Matzinger’s future at a sentencing in Coeur d’Alene.

Matzinger is charged with one felony count of battery with intent to commit lewd conduct with a minor, and one count of false imprisonment. The charges were reduced as part of a plea arrangement for Matzinger, who was arrested last summer after being indicted for lewd conduct with a 7-year-old and kidnapping.

Matzinger pleaded guilty to the reduced charges.

The plea bargain allows prosecutor Molly Nivison to argue for an extended prison sentence for Matzinger, while his attorney, Rick Baughman, will argue for a reduced sentence.

Matzinger was allowed to enroll in a California inpatient addiction program after Baughman said the state would be better served if Matzinger attended counseling to deal with his drug habits, instead of sitting in jail.

Nivison argued against allowing Matzinger to leave Idaho after his $250,000 bond was reduced to $75,000, but Meyer ordered his release.

Nivison had to argue for the Tuesday hearing after Baughman filed a motion to continue sentencing until March so Matzinger could complete his drug rehabilitation.

In her objection, Nivison said the victim’s family would be denied their right to see a speedy conclusion to the case if Matzinger stayed in California. In addition, allowing Matzinger to attend counseling in a facility that isn’t secure jeopardizes public safety, Nivison wrote.

Meyer agreed and ordered Matzinger to be sentenced next week.

Matzinger, a transient who drove to Coeur d’Alene from Maryland, allegedly had sexual contact with a child on the night of June 1 while he couch surfed at a friend’s house on the 1400 block of Nora Avenue.

He entered the bedroom of the 7-year-old while family members were asleep and forced himself upon the child, preventing her from leaving the room by restraining her and blocking the doorway, according to police reports.

The initial kidnapping charge that came as part of the indictment accused Matzinger of “willfully and without lawful authority detain a child under the age of 16 … with the intent to keep or conceal her from her custodial parent, or detain her against her will.”

Matzinger told investigators he had gotten drunk on the night of the incident and blacked out. He therefore could not remember what happened, he told police.

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