Briefly In Public Safety

October 20, 2011

Man convicted of molesting boy in bathroom

A Laguna Beach man was convicted Oct. 14 of molesting a 5-year-old boy, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Nicholas James Needham, 28, a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty to one felony count of lewd acts on a child younger than 14.


On June 15, 2010, Needham went into a men's restroom at The Block at Orange, now called the Outlets at Orange, where the young boy was using a urinal, according to the news release. Needham approached the boy, touched the boy's penis and then fled the scene.

The boy told his mother about the assault, and the Orange Police Department launched an investigation.

The district attorney's office has also filed charges against Needham in a separate case for possession of child pornography.

—Kelly Parker


Woman pedestrian in coma after being hit

A 65-year-old Lake Forest woman is still in a coma after being struck by a car in a crosswalk Sunday evening.

She was thrown more than 40 feet during the impact at 8:16 p.m. near the Laguna Playhouse, according to Laguna Beach police.

The car's driver, Sharon Ann Niggemann, 62, of Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and held on $100,000 bail.

"[The victim] was hit dead center and launched a good distance," said Cpl. D. McGill, a traffic investigator with the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Investigators are trying to figure out who had the right of way at the time of the incident, McGill said.

Niggemann was coming into downtown Laguna Beach on Laguna Canyon Road when she allegedly plowed into the victim, who was crossing the road several feet behind her husband, McGill said. The victim's husband did not witness the collision, but his account of the direction he and his wife were walking contradicts that of Niggemann.

The victim's husband said the two were crossing from the public parking lot toward the Playhouse; Niggemann reported they were walking from the Playhouse to the parking lot.

"We are looking at the phasing of lights and will get the black box from the car" to help determine how the incident happened, McGill said.

McGill said that skid marks show that Niggemann tried to stop. The area was busy that night, with a wedding and "Lagunatics" both going on, but there were no other pedestrians present when the incident took place, he said.

Niggemann was transported to Orange County Jail, where she posted bail and was released, McGill said.


Prostitute routed from motel

Laguna Beach detectives arrested a suspected prostitute after investigating a report that the woman was operating out of a motel in the 900 block of North Coast Highway, according to Cpl. Jim Cota.

Christal Schroder, 29, was arrested after detectives caught her with a customer at 12:21 p.m. Oct. 14, Cota said. Motel management cooperated in the investigation.

Schroder was arrested on suspicion of prostitution and held on a probation violation at Orange County Jail. Her customer was not arrested, Cota said.

—Cindy Frazier

Coastline Pilot Articles Coastline Pilot Articles