Modesto judge denies stay-away order for former police officer in sex assault case
12/09/2013 1:32 PM
12/09/2013 9:07 PM
A judge on Monday refused to grant a stay-away order for a former police officer and Modesto Junior College instructor accused of molesting three teenage girls.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Marie Silveira said it would be too broad to order defendant Francisco “Frank” Jose Drumond to stay away from all potential witnesses in his upcoming trial, which is scheduled to start Aug. 26.
Deputy District Attorney Annette Rees was seeking the stay-away order because she said Drumond tried to contact a Modesto police officer, showing up uninvited at the officer’s home in September.
The defendant resigned from his job as a reserve Ripon police officer 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.
He was arrested during a staff meeting Aug. 28, 2009, at the MJC East Campus, where he taught criminal justice, police have said.
Frank Carson, one of Drumond’s two attorneys, called the prosecutor’s request “silly.” He said his client bumped into a former colleague at the Police Department.
The prosecutor said the visit to the officer was uninvited, and she was asking the judge to order Drumond not to try to contact anyone who possibly could be a witness in the case.
The case involves the claim of a sexual assault of a 17-year-old police Explorer about 22 years ago, along with accusations of sexual misconduct with two other girls.
Drumond is charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with two of the girls, ages 13 and 14, in incidents claimed to have occurred Aug. 9 and 20, 2009. A third count claims Drumond forced oral copulation on the Explorer in 1991.
Carson said he has advised his client not to speak to any law enforcement officials or anyone who works for the District Attorney’s Office because “there is no good that will come from it under the present administration.”
The Modesto defense attorney is running for office, challenging incumbent Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager.
Rees offered to narrow the stay-away order to focus on those witnesses already identified and listed in the case file.
But Silveira was reluctant because part of the case goes back more than two decades. She denied the prosecution’s request and said she was hoping Drumond would start listening to his attorneys. The judge said the defendant apparently wasn’t listening to his attorneys when he failed to appear in court last week.
Had Drumond not shown up in court Monday morning, a warrant for his arrest would have gone into effect. Last week, his attorneys told the judge they weren’t exactly sure why their client failed to appear in court.
Carson explained to the judge Monday that his client had been sick and had left a message with his secretary, which Carson was not aware of at the time.
Last week, a representative from a local bail bonds business stood up in court and told Silveira that Drumond, a client, had left the county without informing the business. She said they had not been able to reach him by phone.
Monday, Drumond showed up at court with a different bail bonds company representative. The defendant had switched bail bond companies, and the judge approved a new $75,000 bond for Drumond. He remains free on bail as he awaits trial.
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