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9:24 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Man accepts plea deal in child sex case

Anthony Zizza

Anthony Zizza

PRESCOTT - Anthony Zizza, arrested in March on two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and a count of sexual abuse, pleaded guilty to lesser charges Tuesday morning.

Zizza, 21, was under investigation by Prescott Valley police for an assault charge in late February when cops saw him kissing a 15-year-old girl.

They found a camera in his possession that showed him with the girl in poses that led officers to believe he had been sexually active with her.

As the investigation progressed, police determined that Zizza had also been sexually involved with two other girls, ages 14 and 16. They said they believed Zizza had sex with the 14-year-old while she was passed out or asleep.

On Tuesday, Zizza was before Judge Tina Ainley. She accepted his plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor and one count of sexual conduct with a minor.

He appeared to be reluctant to take the deal. Deputy County Attorney Steve Sisneros said, "This is his only chance - and it will be gone in about five minutes."

"This case is ready for trial," he added.

The court took a recess while Zizza considered his options with his attorney. He stared straight ahead, blankly, displaying no emotion as he heard the options.

With the plea, and considering he had violated probation in an earlier case, he could get 17 years in prison. If he took his chances with a jury and was found guilty, he could spend upwards of 25 years behind bars.

Zizza accepted the deal. He will be sentenced at a later date.