Monday, April 22, 2002
Orange County District Attorney Files Amended Complaint Laying Out Evidence Against Superior Court Judge Kline
By a MetNews Staff Writer
New details of the Orange County district attorney’s child molestation case against Superior Court Judge Ronald C. Kline became public Friday as prosecutors filed an amended complaint in the case.
A hearing on the judge’s demurrer, in which he argued that the complaint insufficiently alleged corroboration of the alleged victim’s accusations, was to take place Friday morning before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Pratt.
The Norwalk-based jurist was specially assigned to hear the case in order to avoid having Kline judged by one of his Orange County colleagues.
That hearing never occurred, however, as prosecutors chose to supplement their previous allegations in a new pleading. Pratt scheduled a June 4 hearing on a new demurrer, which Kline’s attorney, Paul Meyer, said he intends to file.
Kline is charged with having engaged in oral sex with the victim, then 14 years of age, on five occasions between June and October of 1979. The complainant has never been publicly identified by name and is referred to in the complaint as John Doe.
Prosecutors said the man came forward and filed a complaint with the Irvine Police Department after Kline was arrested on federal charges of possessing child pornography on his computer.
Because the charges are more than six years old, they can only be pursued if the victim’s allegations are corroborated. The amended complaint offers numerous examples of what the prosecutors say is corroboration of John Doe’s allegations.
Prosecutors previously alleged that John Doe told his parents and the woman to whom he is now married of the molestations, in 1995. But he did not complain to police until this past January, after the federal charges became public.
The allegations of the amended complaint include the following, some of which were included in the original complaint:
•John Doe’s wife contacted Irvine police about the alleged molestation the month before her husband did, without his knowledge;
•John Doe was informed a few weeks before he reported Kline’s actions that he was an heir to the judge’s estate;
•John Doe went on a vacation with Kline about two months before his 18th birthday. Before they left, Kline sent him a letter, which the complaint says was turned over to the police during the current investigation, in which the jurist suggested he was attracted to John Doe sexually and said “there must be something between us pretty special.”;
•Kline admitted to police when they served a search warrant last November in connection with the pornography investigation that he was attracted to boys, including players in the Little League where he had been an umpire;
•The police search resulted in the discovery not only of hundreds of sexually explicit computer images of boys but of a commercially produced pornographic video that Kline said was his.
•Kline also admitted to police that he had sex with a 15-year-old boy when he was in his 20s and living in Texas.
Kline’s arrest came after the deadline for filing re-election papers, resulting in him being the only candidate on the March 5 ballot. He was opposed by 11 write-in candidates, one of whom, Dana Point attorney John Adams, finished ahead of him in the voting.
Kline and Adams face a Nov. 5 runoff unless Kline can convince the courts to allow him to withdraw. A hearing on his petition to do that, which is opposed by election officials who say that state law does not permit it, is scheduled for Wednesday before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company