A man with multiple sex-related convictions in Riverside County was released from custody Wednesday after being sentenced to time already served behind bars for committing a lewd act in front of a teenage girl in the bathroom of a Palm Springs Walmart.
Tyler Ray Berthoud, 26, of Oak Hills in San Bernardino County, pleaded guilty last week to burglary and attempting a lewd act with a child under 14 at the Ramon Road store on Aug. 9, 2017.
Berthoud, who was arrested the day of the crimes, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, but he was given custody credit for 1,122 days, including 153 days spent in a mental health facility, allowing him to be released on parole.
He was ordered to immediately report to the nearest adult parole office, according to court records.
According to Palm Springs police Sgt. William Hutchinson, Berthoud stuck his head under the bottom of a stall in the Walmart women’s restroom while a 13-year-old girl was inside. Berthoud then managed to enter the stall and masturbated in front of the girl, but did not physically harm or molest her, the sergeant said.
Witnesses heard the girl screaming and Berthoud was apprehended by a group of people after he left the bathroom, Hutchinson said.
He was initially charged with felony counts of attempted lewd acts on a minor, burglary, false imprisonment, along with misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure and child annoyance. It was unclear what he stole from the store, but court records note that Berthoud “wilfully” entered the store with “intent to commit theft.” The three latter charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Hutchinson called Berthoud a “brazen, dangerous individual” and “someone we don’t want in this community or any community for that matter.”
According to court records, Berthoud was previously convicted of child annoyance for trying to pick up two teenage girls at a Wildomar McDonald’s. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and being under the influence of controlled substances, with police saying he followed a woman to her apartment complex and grabbed her buttocks, also in Wildomar.
For those offenses, Berthoud was sentenced to a year in county jail, which he has already served by the time of his sentencing. His arrest in Palm Springs came one day after his release, according to court records.
Berthoud also has prior convictions for spousal abuse and battery against a police officer.
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