Stanislaus County trial scheduled for Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen’s husband

12/02/2013 3:15 PM

12/02/2013 10:38 PM

A judge on Monday scheduled a trial to start March 25 for a state lawmaker’s husband who faces a misdemeanor charge related to the claimed mistreatment of a 4-year-old boy at a youth soccer practice in Modesto.

Rod Olsen, husband of Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, is charged with misdemeanor willful child cruelty.

The boy’s mother told an investigator she saw Olsen walk across the soccer field toward her son and grab the boy’s upper left arm, according to an affidavit filed in court Oct. 10. The mother told the investigator that Olsen yelled at her son, accusing the boy of hitting his son.

The defendant maintains that the allegations against him are false. His attorney, Robert Forkner, said the accusation is inconsistent with his client’s character. “It’s unfortunate that the accuser would take advantage of this young boy to launch this false accusation and that the district attorney’s office has decided to spend taxpayers’ money pursuing these false charges,” Forkner said after Monday’s brief hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley declined to respond to Forkner’s comments, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on a pending case.

The incident in dispute occurred Aug. 12 during a Modesto Youth Soccer Association practice at Standiford Park on Tokay Avenue. The child’s mother has told The Bee that Olsen grabbed her child so violently by the arm that he left bruises and caused the child to urinate in his pants.

Forkner said that he and his client look forward to fighting the charge in court and clearing Olsen’s name. The defendant was not in court Monday because the court has granted his request that he appear only when his attendance is necessary.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Marie Silveira scheduled a hearing March 17 to ensure that everyone is ready to proceed to trial the following week.

If Olsen is convicted, the maximum sentence for the misdemeanor charge is six months in county jail. Other terms include mandatory probation for 48 months, a protective order for the victim against the defendant and at least one year of child abuse treatment counseling.

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