Convicted sex offender back behind bars 24 hours after release

A San Juan Island man who recently served six months for a felony sex offense faces a new round of criminal charges for allegedly spending time with a woman and her child shortly after his release from jail.

On Aug. 6, Troy Fitzgerald Niebling was taken into custody by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department on the heels of a complaint about the 49-year-old spending time with the woman and her child. Convicted in February of one count of voyeurism, a Class C felony, Niebling turned himself into the Sheriff’s Department upon learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, according to Undersheriff Bruce Distler.

He was taken into custody on a state Department of Corrections warrant and transported by plane to Island County jail later that day. He was then transferred to a so-called “violators facility” at the Snohomish County jail to await a hearing on the alleged violation of terms of his court-ordered probation, Distler said.

A registered sex offender, Niebling was ordered to serve six months in jail in mid-March after pleading guilty to the felony sex offense. He reportedly was released Aug. 5 from Island County jail.

According to the Sheriff's Department, San Juan County is home to 26 sex offenders at the lowest risk level and five listed as moderate risk to re-offend. Washington state is home to more than 12,000 registered sex offenders, according to the department.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Norah West said that Niebling is scheduled to appear at an Aug. 20 hearing in Snohomish violators facility on allegations that he had conduct with a minor, a violation of terms of his probation. He was ordered to serve 30 months in community custody as part of the sentenced handed down in San Juan County Superior Court in March, a duration beyond the state standard, which, according to court documents, was imposed because of a history of sex offenses.

A year ago in May, Niebling was accused of secretly taking photographs and video footage his then-teenage daughter having sex with her boyfriend, and of storing those images on his computer. Authorities at that time claimed the photos and video were taken by Niebling in late spring of 2009, through a window of the girl’s bedroom at their Sutton Road home. She was 17 at the time. The images reportedly were still on the hard drive as of September of 2012.

Prior to his conviction in March, Niebling was also convicted in Minnesota of possession of child pornography in 1992, according to court documents.

In addition to six months in jail and 30 months in community custody, he was also ordered in mid-March to pay $1,024 in restitution to San Juan County for the costs of transporting witnesses in preparation for a trial.


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