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Crime

Arraignment of former MMID exec postponed

STOCKTON —Many were hoping for some form of closure in the arraignment of the former executive director of the Miracle Mile Improvement District. Instead, it was delayed.

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Nearly $1 million allegedly embezzled from Lathrop sand company

STOCKTON — A Manteca woman has surrendered to San Joaquin County Superior Court on charges of alleged embezzlement of nearly $1 million.

 

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McGeorge students make law – and history

McGeorge students make law – and history

Revenge porn victims can get offensive material taken off the Internet using a pseudonym. Child care centers can consider job applicants' arrest warrants in hiring decisions. Prisoners can seek a new trial if the scientific evidence that convicted them is later discredited. And police will get training to recognize signs of elder abuse.

Californians won these new rights and protections thanks to four bills developed by students at Pacific McGeorge School of Law and signed into law by Gov. Brown.  

"It is rewarding to have our students not only studying the law on the books in the nation's most important state capital, but also helping to put those laws on the books," said Francis J. Mootz III, dean and professor of law at McGeorge.  

Cal Fire warns of severe fire season

Cal Fire warns of severe fire season


AUBURN, Calif. - Cal Fire is warning of what may be a very long and very difficult fire season ahead.

"Over the next couple of months almost all of Northern California's gonna be at an above average potential for large and damaging wildfires," said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

The state has already seen 950 fires, triple the number in an average year. And the state is in the grip of the worst drought in recorded history.

"A lot of the green hillsides up and down the state are really just masking the dead grass that's been sitting there all winter long," Berlant points out.

At the Cal Fire station in Auburn, seasonal firefighters have been in place since the end of January, nearly three months earlier than usual.

Woman's body found outside Modesto home

MODESTO - Investigators are asking for help from the public for information regarding a woman's body found outside a Modesto home on Sunday morning.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department detectives were called to a home in the 500 block of Briggs Ave. at approximately 6:30 after a passerby spotted the victim under a car port. The witness immediately notified the police department.

Modesto police officers arrived on scene, securing the area, then handed the investigation over to the Sheriff's Department.

The residents at the home where the victim was located were not aware that a crime had occurred and are cooperating with detectives.

The Sheriff's Department says the victim appears to be a transient female, but they have not yet identified her. The cause of death is being withheld due to this being an active investigation but will say that it is being ruled a homicide.

Ex-Modesto cop takes deal in sex case

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - A former Modesto police officer initially charged with sexual assault after being accused of forcing a prostitute to have sex with him while on duty has avoided any additional jail time after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.  

The Modesto Bee reports that after pleading no contest to misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution and petty theft for having sex with the 37-year-old woman while on duty, Lee Freddie Gaines II on Friday was sentenced to time served.  

He'll also be on probation for 30 days and will have to pay the city $32.57 in restitution for taking an hour of his work time while having sex with the woman.  

Prosecutors say they dropped the sexual assault charges because there was insufficient evidence and the woman - who has admitted to working as a prostitute - changed her version of the events.  

Gaines has said the sex was consensual.

Alleged victim angered over officer's possible plea bargain

MODESTO, CA - The woman at the center of an alleged sex assault by a former Modesto police officer worries the charges he faces will be reduced to misdemeanor counts.

The ex-officer, Lee Freddie Gaines, faces charges of oral copulation by force, being armed with a firearm while committing a sexual offense, sexual battery and assault under color of authority.

The alleged victim, 37-year old Sherry Newton, who acknowledges she was working as a prostitute, said Gaines came to a motel for her services, then handcuffed her and sexually assaulted her.

She said she received a call from the Stanislaus District Attorney's Office on Wednesday informing her the charges were going to be reduced to misdemeanor counts, including one for soliciting sex.

Newton said Gaines never bothered to ask her for sex when he put the handcuffs on her and assaulted her.