Sentencing of Reno Man on Child Abuse and Kidnapping Charges
District Attorney Announces Sentencing of Reno Man on Charges of Child Abuse and Kidnapping of 7 Year Old Boy
For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4304 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
November 12, 2015
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks announced today the sentencing of a Reno man to a term of 13 years to life in prison for the kidnapping and repeated abuse of a 7 year old boy. The sentencing follows a conviction in Washoe County District Court where a jury found the defendant guilty in June of this year following a four day trial.
Robert William Downs, 38 (DOB 2/22/1977), of Reno, was sentenced to a term of 8 to 20 years each on three counts of Child Abuse and a term of 5 years to Life for one count of First Degree Kidnapping by District Court Judge Elliott Sattler. Downs was previously found guilty on June 5, 2015. The Court ordered the sentence for the child abuse charges to run concurrent with each other, but consecutive to the kidnapping charge for a total maximum sentence of a term of life plus a consecutive term of 20 years in prison. Based on the sentence received today, Downs will not be eligible for parole until he has served a minimum of 13 years in prison.
The case against Downs began in May, 2013 when the Reno Police Department responded to the MacGregor Inn on a call to check the welfare of a child. The child was located with obvious signs of abuse including numerous bruises and eye injuries consistent with being strangled. The subsequent investigation revealed that the child had been abused and neglected over the course of months by Downs. This abuse included punching and strangling the child to unconsciousness, as well as tying his hands and feet together, securing a rag in his mouth, and submerging him in water to near drowning. The manager of the apartment complex called Child Protective Services after observing the child with obvious multiple injuries to his person when he accompanied the defendant into the office. This report led to police intervention and the eventual arrest of Robert Downs.
The child’s mother, Allison Alamo, 31, (DOB 11/17/1982) was also prosecuted by this office for having failed to protect her son. Alamo pled guilty to one count of Permitting and/or Allowing Abuse, Neglect and/or Endangerment of a Child Resulting in Mental Harm and was sentenced to 60 to 150 months in prison. Her prison sentence was suspended and she was granted probation by the Court.