After the defendant failed to appear in court Monday, a judge ordered an arrest warrant for a former police officer and Modesto Junior College instructor accused of molesting three teenage girls.
The $125,500 warrant, however, won’t go into effect until a hearing next week, giving Francisco “Frank” Jose Drummond another chance to show up in court and avoid arrest.
The defendant is charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with two of the girls, ages 13 and 14, in incidents alleged to have occurred Aug. 9 and 20, 2009. A third count alleges Drummond forced oral copulation in 1991 on a 17-year-old girl who was a police Explorer.
Drummond’s absence in the courtroom Monday morning became an issue as the attorneys argued over the prosecutor’s request for an arrest warrant.
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Frank Carson, one of Drummond’s two attorneys, told the judge that his client was working somewhere out of town, which was probably the reason for the absence. He asked the judge to stay the warrant for two weeks.
Deputy District Attorney Annette Rees argued it was clear that Drummond was supposed to be in court Monday. Rees said she was going to ask the court to order Drummond to stay away from any potential witnesses in the trial, scheduled to start Aug. 26.
Rees has alleged in court that Drummond tried to contact a Modesto police officer, showing up uninvited at the officer’s home in September. While arguing for the arrest warrant Monday, the prosecutor told the judge Drummond had not been seen in weeks and that his mood had been reported as “manic.”
Carson interrupted the prosecutor, telling the judge that Rees’ comments about his client’s mood were “silly” and “nonsense.”
A representative from a local bail-bonds business stood up in court and told the Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Marie Silveira that Drummond, a client, had left the county without informing the business. She said it has not been able to reach him by phone and that he has not been seen in weeks.
Carson told the judge that Mark Sullivan, Drummond’s other attorney, spoke on the phone with his client recently. He said Sullivan told Drummond to be in court Monday. Carson said that in his last phone call with the defendant, Drummond told him he would be in court Monday.
Although Drummond failed to appear, Silveira stayed the arrest warrant until the Dec. 9 hearing because it appeared he was communicating with his attorneys by phone.
Drummond remains free on bail as he awaits trial. He was arrested during a staff meeting Aug. 28, 2009, at the MJC East Campus, where he taught criminal justice, police have said.
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.