Hirtzel found guilty of four counts in sextortion case


Actor and former ARC student Christian Brian Hirtzel (standing right) rehearsing for ARC’s production of Young Frankenstein. Hirtzel was found guilty on four counts relating to sexual extortion and will be sentenced on August 2. (File Photo)

Hannah Darden

Former American River College student Christian Brian Hirtzel was found guilty of four felony counts today as part of a plea bargain between his attorney and the Sacramento District Attorney’s office.

Hirtzel plead no contest to one count of extortion, one count of communication with a minor with intent to commit a sex offense, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of computer crime/access without permission to defraud/control.

Hirtzel was originally charged with one count of distribution of child pornography, but as part of his plea deal, had it changed to possession, which deputy district attorney James Wax called a “reasonably related charge.”

“It’s not a lesser offense,” said Wax. “Just a different offense.”

The recommended conditions for Hirtzel’s plea bargain were a sentence of four years and eight months in state prison, registration as a sex offender for the remainder of Hirtzel’s life, and the payment of any reparations to the victims.

These conditions will be approved or amended by a judge at Hirtzel’s sentencing hearing on August 2.

Wax said that the sentencing will be a matter of the court hearing evidence and testimony from the victims, after which the court will decide whether the sentence from the plea bargain is a reasonable sentence.  

Wax estimated that one or more victims will be present for the sentencing.