MODESTO — A former rural school district administrator accused of sexually abusing two children is too sick to appear in court.
Thomas Kevin Hart, 60, was the Valley Home Joint School District superintendent and principal when he was arrested July 6, 2011.
Hart is charged with two counts of the continuous sexual abuse of a child younger than 14. He remains free on $250,000 bail.
Hart appeared in court April 2 with his attorney to inform the judge that his medical condition would prevent him from standing trial April 8, so the trial date was canceled. Details about his medical condition have not been discussed in court.
Patrick Clancy, Hart's defense attorney, appeared on his client's behalf Tuesday morning, when Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff postponed a hearing to reschedule a trial.
Deputy District Attorney Beth O'Hara Owen said in court that Clancy has asked her not to reveal publicly the nature of Hart's medical condition. The prosecutor, however, asked the judge to allow her to tell the alleged victims' family.
Clancy did not object to the prosecutor's request, but he asked the judge to order the family not to tell anyone else details about Hart's illness. The judge granted both requests from the attorneys.
Zeff postponed until July 30 the hearing to reschedule Hart's trial, which is estimated to last about two weeks. There was no indication when Hart is expected to be ready to proceed with the criminal case.
The Valley Home school board placed Hart, also known as Kevin Hart, on unpaid compulsory leave in August 2011. The alleged victims in this case are children who did not attend Valley Home schools. The school board has since hired a new superintendent-principal.
The criminal complaint alleges that the abuse took place from Aug. 1, 2009, to June 17, 2011.
Testimony in Hart's preliminary hearing last year indicated that the acts are alleged to have occurred at Hart's Oakdale home as he was bathing the children, a girl and a boy, in a laundry room sink.
Hart's defense attorney argued that his client was cleaning fecal matter from the children's bodies and that there was no evidence of sexual intent.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2394.