A 55-year-old Oakdale man made his first appearance in court Friday since his September arrest and pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual misconduct with a teenage boy over a five-year period.
Paul Birmingham did not appear for his arraignment hearing on Oct.4 because he had been hospitalized. On Friday afternoon, he was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair.
The reason for his hospitalization has not been discussed in court. Birmingham was admitted to a hospital Sept.7, the day after the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department sent out a news release about his arrest.
The defendant has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, sending harmful materials to seduce a minor, oral copulation and sexual penetration with force.
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Authorities claim that Birmingham started molesting the boy when the victim was 13, according to a criminal complaint filed in court Sept.23. The boy spoke to detectives about Birmingham in late July, sheriff’s officials have said.
Birmingham was arrested Sept.5. He remains free on $250,000 bail and was scheduled to return to court Dec.9 for a pretrial hearing.
Sheriff’s officials have said Birmingham is a former Boy Scout troop leader, and that investigators released information about his time with the Boy Scouts “in case he had any additional inappropriate contact with any juveniles.”
Area Boy Scouts of America officials said Birmingham has not been involved with the organization since about 2004.
Prosecutors say the sexual misconduct occurred from Feb.24, 2008, to July29, 2013. There is no indication Birmingham met the boy while volunteering with the Boy Scouts, and only one accuser is listed in the criminal complaint.