Ex-BLM official arrested in Nevada child sex case

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 08, 2012 4:39 PM

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A former top Bureau of Land Management official has been arrested in Nevada on charges of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Ronald Wenker was arrested Tuesday in Reno by Washoe County sheriff's deputies. He remained jailed without bail Wednesday on two felony counts each of sexual assault and lewdness with a child under 14.

Wenker, 64, was named head of the BLM office in Reno in 2005. Before that he held a similar post in Colorado, and worked in several states around the West, including Oregon, California and Wyoming.

In 2009 he temporarily served as acting director for the federal agency in Washington, D.C. He retired last year after a 40-year career with the BLM.

"We don't have any information surrounding the allegations but we're saddened by it," said Heather Emmons, BLM spokeswoman in Reno.

The sheriff's office said Wenker's arrest followed accusations by a young girl that he had been molesting her since 2007. In a statement, authorities said Wenker was taken into custody without incident after investigators corroborated what the victim had told them.

Jail officials did not have an attorney listed for Wenker, and a telephone message left at Wenker's home wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.