Ex-soldier gets probation in child sexual assault case

Posted Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Editor's note: This report has been updated from the original to correct the charges to which Nathan Tatarko pleaded guilty.

A former soldier pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation.

Nathan Tatarko, 31, of Alba was accused of giving alcohol and drugs to a 14-year-old girl he picked up at a mall, having sex with her, and later making her have sex for money.

A human-trafficking charge against Tatarko was dismissed.

In addition to the sexual assault charge, Tatarko pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and received a three-year probationary sentence.

If he completes the conditions of his probation on the sexual assault charge, he will not have that conviction on his record.

The maximum sentence on a charge of sexual assault of a child is 20 years in prison.

The trafficking of a child charge - a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison - was dismissed because Tatarko pleaded guilty to another offense, according to the Tarrant County district clerk's website.

A co-defendant, Elliott T. Reed, 26, of Benbrook, is charged with sexually assaulting a child under 17. Reed was in the Tarrant County jail on Wednesday with bail set at $10,000, court records show.

According to Fort Worth police, the girl was dropped off at Ridgmar Mall on Aug. 11 and was walking outside in the rain when Tatarko pulled up and asked her if she wanted to get in his vehicle. She climbed in, police said.

Tatarko gave her alcohol to drink and later took her to visit Reed. The trio did drugs, and both men had sex with the girl, police said.

During the next few days, Tatarko drove the girl to gaming businesses where he had her strip for customers for money, police said. He later took her to a gas station where he had her solicit sex for money from a man, police said.

The girl gave the money to Tatarko as he ordered, according to police.

On Aug. 13, the girl was with Tatarko when he was pulled over for a traffic stop, police said.

When she was separated from Tatarko, the girl told police what had happened, police said.

According to his social media profiles, Tatarko served in the Army and was deployed twice to the Middle East, once to Iraq and more recently to Afghanistan.

Tarrant County records show Tatarko was charged in August with burglary of a vehicle.

Tatarko entered his guilty pleas in state District Judge Sharen Wilson's court.

This article includes material from Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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