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Monday, October 04, 2004

Judge Kline Case Back On Track

Many of you who read this blog and listen to John & Ken will remember the Judge Kline case from way back in 2001. He was a Superior Court judge who was found to have downloaded child porn on his home computer. What's scary about this guy is that he lives in my neighborhood in Irvine about a mile away from me. John & Ken did a remote broadcast from his block with their trademark bullhorns. It caused quite a stir. The boys were instramental in getting Kline defeated for re-election. He was subsequentely brought up on charges for child porn and a district judge in Los Angeles suppressed the evidence because of fourth amendment concerns that the evidence was gathered illegally. Well the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed the district judge's ruling and the case seems to be back on track. Here is a link to the ruling
Here is the article from today's OC Register about the story(registration was required)

The Orange County Register

Former Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline must return to federal court to stand trial on child-pornography charges, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.

The decision reverses U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall's ruling in June 2003 that Brad Willman, 23, of Langley, British Columbia, was acting as a law enforcement agent when he hacked into Kline's home computer and found some of the evidence used to bring charges against the then-sitting judge.

Kline, 63, is scheduled for trial in January.

Marshall had ruled that the seizure of about 1,500 pictures of nude boys was unconstitutional because of the actions of Willman, and she suppressed the evidence. Her ruling that Willman was a police agent resulted in a hiatus in the prosecution of the ex-jurist on seven child-pornography charges.

"A private person cannot act unilaterally as an agent or instrument of the state; there must be some degree of governmental knowledge and acquiescence. In the absence of such official involvement, a search is not governmental," the three-judge appellate panel said.

Kline was charged in November 2001 and was subsequently defeated for re-election by a write-in candidate. He was later charged in state court with molesting a 14-year-old boy in 1979. That case was dismissed when the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a California law permitting the prosecution of old sex-crime cases.

The former judge has remained on home confinement since the child pornography charges were filed


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