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Jocko
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Username: Jocko

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2007

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Posted on Monday, December 03, 2007 - 4:25 am:   

Brothel owner gets prison time

By PETE FOWLER
Ely Times Reporter
Ely ex-brothel owner, John Bloomberg, received a one to three year sentence Monday April 10 for beating an extremely intoxicated patron at the Stardust Ranch nearly two years ago.

The 32-year-old Bloomberg pleaded no contest on March 6 to the crime: battery causing substantial bodily harm. He was accused of beating a man at the Stardust Ranch Aug. 6, 2004.

“You got a 51-year-old man drunk out of his mind, basically, and beat his face... just stomped it in,” Judge Steven Dobrescu said, according to the court's transcription of the sentence hearing. “This is a case of extreme violence... extreme... and extreme injuries to this man.”

Judge Dobrescu's sentence surprised the court; the prosecution and defense recommended probation as part of a plea agreement. They said it would be best for Bloomberg to be put on probation so he could continue receiving treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues at the Cornerstone in-patient facility in California. Bloomberg has been at the facility for over 30 days already.

Serving jail time will interrupt his treatment at Cornerstone.

“I would hate to see him go and lose any ground that he's already gained in the last 30 days of his treatment at Cornerstone,” Bloomberg's attorney Don Hill said according to the court's transcription of the sentence hearing. “It's the right thing to do. I assure you we've seen him progress.”

Hill said that Bloomberg's methamphetamine use might have brought on his mental problems. He noted that the meth use was less than most peoples' that he has seen.

“It's evident from the assessment that the court has in front of it that Mr. Bloomberg has had a problem with substance abuse. And there has been schizophrenia as well as the bipolar disorder present,” District Attorney Richard Sears said.

Hill told the court in a November 2005 hearing that Bloomberg said he had been hearing voices.

Bloomberg asked for probation and apologized to the court during the April 10 sentencing.

“I feel that I've made a lot of progress at Cornerstone. And I think I can be a useful, productive citizen. I'd really like to be granted probation. I think I can make good use of the time, and I'm sorry for what I did,” he told the court.

Accounts of the 2004 incident are unclear. Police reports stated that when officers arrived they found a man lying on his back in the parking lot covered in blood. He had breaks in his facial bone structure. He was in and out of consciousness and having trouble breathing. He was also found to have a blood-alcohol content of .307 -- over three times the legal limit for DUI.

In his original statement, Bloomberg said a worker at the Stardust Ranch came to the back office and told him a patron was behaving aggressively towards one of the prostitutes. He escorted the man out. When he let go of him, the patron came back inside swinging. Bloomberg said he hit him in the face twice and kicked him in the stomach once.

Independent witnesses established a different scenario. They said Bloomberg came into the bar yelling and calling the patron names. He then drug the patron outside, hit him in the face, knocked him down and stomped on his face and hands several times.

“There's no doubt in anyone's mind that this individual was asked to leave the brothel several times,” Hill said. “I don't think he was ever not justified in the beginning.” He added that Bloomberg should have stopped sooner.

“It's apparent that however this started -- I don't entirely agree with Mr. Hill's account -- it got carried way too far to the point where the victim received substantial injuries and was at a substantial risk of death,” Sears said.

Judge Dobrescu said mental health and substance abuse issues are a lifelong challenge.

“Those are not things that just get fixed and cured and you can move on,” he said.

He added that photos of the victim's injuries were not consistent with the description of two punches and a kick to the torso.

Judge Dobrescu said mental health issues do not justify any kind of violence. Along with the one to three years of jail time, Judge Dobrescu sentenced Bloomberg to pay restitution for the victim's medical expenses. The amount will be determined within 30 days after examining bills and other documentation

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