Trevor Reizenstein, who was jailed at age 12 after a horrific attack on a friend’s 5-year-old sister in Nampa, is now about to turn 23 and will mark that birthday in the prison system.
On Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Thomas Ryan revoked Reizenstein’s probation, reinstating the 10- to 20-year sentence he imposed in 2009 for the crimes of attempted first-degree murder and battery. However, at the recommendation of both prosecution and defense, the judge said he will consider freeing the young man on probation again pending the outcome of six months to a year of treatment and evaluation by the Idaho Department of Correction.
Reizenstein, who has been living in Boise and working full-time while on probation, told the judge that returning to state custody under such a treatment plan “is probably the best thing that could happen.”
“I was lazy. ... I fell back on my old behaviors,” he said.
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“The penitentiary is really the only option if this doesn’t work,” Ryan told Reizenstein.
Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin, who handled the prosecution of Reizenstein’s 2007 crimes, echoed that assessment Tuesday. She said Reizenstein “has received more treatment, more programs, more services than any (defendant) I have ever dealt with. There really isn’t anything else.”
Still, she said, he repeatedly violated terms of his probation by using methamphetamine, getting a phone with internet access, having contact with minors and not complying with the requirements of his probation officer.
Defense attorney David Smethers agreed that his client “is struggling with probation,” but said “there are a lot of positives” — principally, Reizenstein’s successful employment at Treasure Valley Door, where his boss described him as the best employee he had. Smethers described Reizenstein’s reverting to meth use and not following his probation officer’s directions as “huge problems” that could be addressed in the prison-based treatment program.
And Smethers stressed that Reizenstein’s contact with minors, while in clear violation of his probation, did not involve any illegal or inappropriate conduct. Reizenstein, who admitted sexually assaulting his young victim in 2007, is a registered sex offender.
In court Tuesday, Smethers acknowledged that “the underlying crime is horrific.”
On Jan. 24, 2007, 12-year-old Reizenstein was arested in a Nampa alley near a badly injured little girl who was naked from the waist down and partially covered by roofing material. Accused of luring the 5-year-old out of her yard, molesting her and trying to strangle her to death, he faced trial as an adult before he pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sent to the Idaho juvenile correction system.
The severity of the crime and the youth of the criminal rocked the community and the state. The 2009 sentencing hearing also featured harrowing information on Reizenstein’s childhood, from testing positive for meth and marijuana at birth to numerous run-ins with police that landed him on probation for the first time around age 7. At the time, Judge Ryan called the boy “a product of neglect and abandon” and said it would be up to him whether he responds to treatment and finds a productive life.
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447