Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison Following Battery of 68-Year - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison Following Battery of 68-Year-Old Man

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Henry "Hank" Sosnowski Henry "Hank" Sosnowski
Juan Rodriguez Juan Rodriguez

One man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of beating an elderly victim who confronted him while he placed graffiti on the Pioneer Theater and a State of Nevada historical marker in 2016.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, Reno Police responded to the 100 block of South Virginia Street. When police arrived, they found the man with life-threatening injuries. The victim has since been identified as TMCC professor, Henry "Hank" Sosnowski. 

Reno police say Sosnowski saw the suspect, 27-year-old Juan Rodriguez, placing graffiti on property in the area, and proceeded to ask Rodriguez to stop. A verbal confrontation then ensued. Sosnowski was struck and fell.

Rodriquez, from Sparks, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on one count of Battery Causing Substantial Bodily Harm Committed Against an Older Person. Rodriguez pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced Tuesday by the Honorable Connie Steinheimer. The sentence ensures that a minimum of five and 6 months must be served before parole eligibility begins.

In commenting on the sentence DA Chris Hicks said, “ This Good Samaritan, who only sought to support the movement to improve downtown Reno, was brutally victimized by a useless scourge that has no respect for the work so many have done to improve and preserve our city. Hopefully, this sentence brings some level of justice to this brave victim.”

During sentencing, Prosecutor Zach Young argued that Rodriguez is a significant threat to the community as represented by his violent attack of a man who was simply trying to get him to stop placing graffiti upon monuments in the downtown corridor. Young also highlighted the seriousness of the victim’s injuries: he was not expected to survive, having been in a coma for 15 days and in the hospital for more than 6 months, undergoing several brain surgeries.

Sosnowski is still in rehab, and doctors say he will never fully recover. He has had to re-learn how to do such basic tasks as walking, talking, and eating.

If you'd like to help Sosnowski, they have set up a GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/helphankheal

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