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Police: Suspect lived in Lodi Mayor JoAnne Mounce’s basement

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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:46 am, Sat Aug 18, 2012.

A Lodi resident who was arrested recently on charges related to sexual misconduct with a minor previously lived in the basement and garage of Mayor JoAnne Mounce for three weeks in July.

David Nielsen, 49, was arrested on Aug. 1 after Lodi police said he sexually abused a 16-year-old from February to May.

Mounce said she allowed Nielsen, who was her former neighbor, to live on her property from July 3 through July 24, and then he moved to a Stockton apartment.

Mounce's home was searched on Aug. 2 as part of the investigation, but no property was removed, Lodi Police Capt. J.P. Badel said. Police were following standard procedure by following up on any leads, he said.

"The mayor is not involved in this case at all," Badel said. "She was merely trying to help him out by giving him a place to stay."

During the time Nielsen was living with Mounce, she said he lived in the basement and stored his personal belongings in her garage at her home on East Elm Street.

"No one was ever allowed there except for Mr. Nielsen. I'm confident there was no crime committed on my property," she said.

Mounce said she met Nielsen when he lived at a house behind her property for three years before he moved to another house in the neighborhood.

When Mounce was going through lung cancer treatment in 2011, she said Nielsen helped her through her recovery. Earlier this summer, he became homeless after his roommate was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

"I thought this was a way to return the favor, by offering him my garage and basement," she said.

Mounce said she feels victimized and betrayed by Nielsen.

"My heart goes out to the families who are involved in this alleged crime. This is horrible, and the police department needs to do their job and get to the bottom of this case. I'm appalled that I'm associated with it in any way, shape or form," Mounce said.

Nielsen was arrested on Ham Lane when he parked near the corner of Lockeford Street. That same day, police searched Nielsen's Stockton apartment in the 500 block of East Channel Street, removing computers and other electronic devices, Badel said.

After the arrest, Badel said officers discovered Nielsen had lived at Mounce's house, which is why they searched her home.

"We treated this investigation as we would any other investigation," he said. "We followed any lead we had."

Officers were at her house for less than 10 minutes, Mounce said. Police also told her they were led to believe Nielsen still had property at her house, but he did not, Mounce said.

At the time of his arrest, Nielsen was arrested for oral copulation of a minor, sexual penetration of a minor (under 18 years of age), annoying or molesting a minor, and contact with a minor for sexual intent.

Since his arrest, police have added another charge of possessing child pornography, Badel said. His current bail is set at $1.1 million. High bails are common in cases like this, Detective Hettie Schaeffer said.

Badel said police are still investigating the crime to see if there are more victims or other crimes involved.

"We don't know if there are at this point, but it is not uncommon in sexual abuse cases for there to be other victims," he said.

Any other victims or anyone with information on David Nielsen should contact Detective Hettie Schaeffer at 209-333-5541.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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