Jeffrey Ray Nielsen--the Orange County Republican activist, close Washington, D.C., aide to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and convicted pedophile--is out of prison and living in Laguna Beach, according to a California Attorney General's website that tracts the whereabouts of sex predators.
Twenty months ago, in March 2008, a judge sentenced Nielsen to serve 36 months in prison after he reluctantly acknowledged that he was guilty of targeting seventh, eighth and ninth grade middle school boys as his sex partners.
I previously reported that Nielsen landed in a private prison. He was also charged with possession of a huge cache of man-boy and boy-boy sex pornography, but a bonehead mistake by prosecutors allowed that count to expire before taking necessary court action.
Getting justice in the case was never a sure thing. The 39-year-old Nielsen, once an intern for District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, liked to brag about his personal connections that extended to then-Sheriff Mike Carona. Indeed, thanks to his friendship with OC Republican Chairman Scott Baugh, he landed a well-paying job at a large law firm and a gig representing a local government agency as a lobbyist.
With the aid of high-powered criminal defense lawyer Paul S. Meyer, Nielsen spent nearly five years viciously attacking his accusers and portraying himself as a persecuted Christian conservative who was being smeared by a liberal press, naming this paper. (While he awaited trial, the Orange County Register wrote a story about how Nielsen loved puppies and, oddly, didn't mention the pending sex crimes charges.)
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At one point, Meyer attempted to derail the Weekly's investigation by alleging to the FBI that I was part of blackmail scheme against his client. The laughable tactic didn't work. Nielsen ultimately pleaded guilty after I found a second boy in Virginia who backed up his story with love notes Nielsen had sent him. The State Bar of California revoked his license to practice law.
As he's prone to do, Rohrabacher disingenuously attempted to downplay his ties to Nielsen after the Weekly reports. But it was the Huntington Beach Republican who brought the Fountain Valley resident with him to the nation's capital for more than two years. Nielsen's father Ben served as the mayor of Fountain Valley.
To read the Weekly's 2005 cover story, "NAMBLA Fantasy," go HERE.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly