HEARING SET IN CHILD SEX ABUSE CASE
A judge has scheduled a preliminary hearing to start
Sept. 29 for a 55-year-old Oakdale man accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage boy over a five-year period.
Defendant Paul Birmingham was arrested in early September and remains free on bail. He has been charged with
continuous sexual abuse of a child, sending harmful
materials to seduce a minor, oral copulation and sexual penetration with force. At the conclusion of his preliminary hearing, the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for the defendant to stand trial. The judge also scheduled the defendant to return to court Sept. 8 for a pretrial hearing. Authorities claim Birmingham started
molesting his victim when the boy was 13, according to a criminal complaint filed in court Sept. 23. The boy spoke to detectives about Birmingham in late July, sheriffs officials have said. Prosecutors say the sexual misconduct occurred from Feb. 24, 2008, through July 29, 2013.
CERES POLICE WARN OF SCAM PHONE CALLS
Ceres residents have been receiving calls from people claiming to be Turlock Irrigation District employees in order to obtain money and personal information, police reported Thursday. The callers are telling residents they need to schedule appointments to have their meters tested for an issue that can cause a fire or explosion. In one instance, a resident scheduled an appointment and was then told to go to Walgreens to make a $300 payment. Residents who
receive these calls should contact Turlock Irrigation District customer service at (209) 883-8222 to confirm whether there are any meter or service issues related to their
accounts. Never give personal information or send money to unknown callers. If a suspicious person goes to your home attempting to collect money, immediately contact Ceres Police Dispatch at (209) 538-5712 so an officer can
MAN SUSPECTED OF firING AT PROPANE TANKS
Calveras County sheriffs deputies arrested a man
suspected of shooting at propane tanks in front of his home Thursday evening. About 5 p.m., deputies responded to the 10000 block of South Camanche Parkway in Burson, just west of Valley Springs. Neighbors told deputies that Lee Matthew Smith, 31, was shooting at the propane tanks. The deputies surrounded Smiths home, but he refused to
answer his door or phone. The sheriffs Special Weapons
and Tactics team was called to the home, along with
negotiators who unsuccessfully tried to get Smith to
surrender. After six hours, Smith tried to escape through the back of the home but was captured soon after by deputies, sheriffs officials said. No injuries were reported. Smith was arrested on suspicion of firing a gun in a gross and negligent manner, being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition, and resisting a peace officer. His bail was set at $42,500.