A defense attorney is seeking internal e-mails from the Modesto Police Department in connection with a criminal case of a former police officer and college instructor.
Francisco "Frank" Jose Drummond is accused of molesting two friends of his teenage daughter three years ago and a 17-year-old police Explorer nearly two decades ago.
Drummond has been charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with the two girls, ages 13 and 15, in incidents that are alleged to have occurred Aug. 9 and 20, 2009.
A third count alleges Drummond forced oral copulation on the Explorer in 1991. The now-grown woman has testified in court that Drummond was her supervising officer for her Regional Occupational Program work, but she quit the program after the alleged incident.
Attorney: Investigation a 'witch hunt'
Frank Carson, Drummond's defense attorney, argued Monday that he should have access to internal e-mails received by Modesto police employees.
He claimed the e-mails were about his client as department officials investigated the alleged crimes, an investigation that Carson called a "witch hunt."
Carson has asked city officials to hand over the e-mails.
During Monday's hearing, Deputy City Attorney Jim Wilson told the judge that archived e-mails to and from city employees are automatically purged every 30 days once employees delete them from their files.
Wilson said in court that the city does not have the e-mails Carson is seeking and that the employees in question do not remember receiving such e-mails.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Marie Silveira accepted Wilson's explanation and said there was nothing else she would do on the matter.
Carson then told the judge he will subpoena employees responsible for e-mail archives to provide sworn testimony on whether the internal e-mails can be retrieved.
"I'm doubting that anybody took a peek," Carson argued in court. It's unclear what he believes the e-mails will say about his client or the investigation.
Drummond was arrested during a staff meeting Aug. 28, 2009, at MJC's East Campus, where he taught criminal justice courses, police have said.
Drummond resigned from his job as a reserve Ripon police officer just days after police showed up at his Modesto home to investigate allegations of lewd acts with the teenage girls. He previously worked as a police officer in Modesto and Patterson.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2394.