Crime

Child support services attorney accused in sex sting ordered to stay away from kids

Defense attorney Kirk McAllister appears in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Manteca on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. McAllister is representing Jeffrey Drabin, an attorney who works for the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services, Drabin is accused of soliciting a child for sex on the Internet in an undercover sting in San Joaquin County.
Defense attorney Kirk McAllister appears in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Manteca on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. McAllister is representing Jeffrey Drabin, an attorney who works for the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services, Drabin is accused of soliciting a child for sex on the Internet in an undercover sting in San Joaquin County. cwinterfeldt@modbee.com

A court on Wednesday ordered an attorney for the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services to stay away from children as he faces an accusation of soliciting a teenage girl for sex online.

There has been no indication that Jeffrey Drabin showed up to meet the girl, who was actually an undercover San Joaquin County sheriff’s investigator posing as an underage girl in a February sting operation.

Drabin faces a misdemeanor charge of arranging to meet a minor. He did not appear at his arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon at the San Joaquin Superior Court’s Manteca branch.

Jeffrey Drabi_fitted.jpeg
Jeffrey Drabin San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department

Kirk McAllister, Drabin’s attorney, appeared in court on behalf of his client. After Wednesday’s hearing, McAllister said defendants facing misdemeanor charges are not required to appear in court if their attorneys appear on their behalf, including arraignment hearings.

McAllister, a Modesto attorney, said the defense will prove that no crime was committed in this case.

“We’re going to fight these charges vigorously,” McAllister said in the courthouse hallway.

Drabin’s arraignment hearing was postponed until June 19, so McAllister did not enter a plea on behalf of his client. McAllister told The Bee that he doesn’t know if Drabin will attend next month’s hearing; it will be up to his client.

The prosecutor asked the court to order Drabin to stay away from children as he remains free from custody and awaits prosecution on the misdemeanor charge. The prosecutor also asked the court to order Drabin’s digital devices to be searchable by law enforcement upon request.

Superior Court Commissioner Sheryle Sparks told McAllister that he can argue at a later hearing if he chooses to challenge the prosecution’s request to have Drabin’s digital devices searched by law enforcement.

But Sparks told McAllister that she was granting the prosecution’s request and ordered Drabin to stay away from children.

Drabin, 62, was arrested in San Joaquin County as a result of an undercover sting operation conducted by Lathrop Police Services. Drabin sent explicit messages to a minor and arranged to meet the minor for sex, according to Deputy Andrea Lopez, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Detectives posed as minors on the Internet, including social media sites. Lopez has said the undercover detectives “made the suspects very aware” they were communicating with a minor.

Drabin on May 9 turned himself in at the San Joaquin County Jail, and he was released from custody the following day.

The day after his arrest, Amy Vickery, a Stanislaus County spokeswoman, said Drabin was placed on administrative leave.

Carolyn Schaupp, an Oakdale mother, attended Drabin’s arraignment Wednesday. She held up a picket sign with the message: “Our kids are not for sale.”

Schaupp has a family court case in Stanislaus County involving a custody dispute. She told The Bee that Drabin was involved in that case, when she challenged her former spouse’s reported income. She said Drabin didn’t follow up on that issue.

“Stanislaus County needs to let him go,” Schaupp told The Bee outside the courthouse. “He’s a danger to our community.”

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Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.

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