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James Nordwall

James Nordwall

A Rock Springs man was sentenced to multiple prison terms in Green River on Friday for sexual assaults dating back to the 1970s, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office reported.

James Joe Nordwall, 58, was convicted in March of four counts of first-degree rape and three counts of sexual assault in the first degree. The charges involved four female victims, two who were children ages 12 to 14 at the time of the offense and two who were women in their 30s.

Sweetwater County District Court Judge Richard Lavery sentenced Nordwall to seven 45- to 50-year sentences. The rape sentences will be served concurrently, as will the sexual assault sentences. However, the rape sentences will be served consecutively to the sexual assault sentences, sending Nordwall to prison for up to 100 years.

Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell said county detectives began their investigation in 2013, when it was discovered that Nordwall had not registered as a sex offender after serving time for second degree sexual assault in the 1990s, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Michelle Hall, the case’s lead detective, discovered women who had been sexually assaulted by Nordwall in 1971, 1973, 1989 and 1992. She filed her charges with the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office and arrested Nordwall on August 19, 2013.

During Nordwall’s sentencing, Deputy County Attorney Suzannah Gambell characterized Nordwall as a “serial rapist” and a danger to the community, the sheriff’s office reports. She described Nordwall as “one of the most dangerous men this court will ever have to deal with.”

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Contact Lillian Schrock at 307-266-0574 or at lillian.schrock@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter @lillieschrock.

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