New Charges Filed in Molestation Case Against Judge

For Immediate Release
March 19th, 2002
Contact: Tori Richards
(714) 347-8405

New Charges Filed in Molestation Case Against Judge

NORWALK  — The District Attorney’s Office filed five counts of oral copulation against Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline today. The defendant was in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In an interview with police in January, the victim said Kline participated in acts of oral copulation when he was between the ages of 12 and 14. This led to the filing of four counts of lewd act on a child between 1976 and 1978. During a subsequent interview last month, the victim said five acts of oral copulation occurred in the summer of 1979, when the victim was 14 years old.

Based on the more concise information regarding the age of the victim, the original charges were dismissed and the current charges alleging oral copulation on a child under 16 were filed. The new time frame is between June 1 and Oct. 1, 1979.

The victim contacted police in November after seeing media reports of Kline’s arrest in a federal child pornography case. Police were familiar with the victim because he was named in a diary that was seized during the investigation. In the diary, Kline wrote of his sexual attraction to boys aged 12 to 15 and to the victim. In addition, the victim’s parents had reported to police in 1980 that Kline was stalking their son.

If convicted, Kline faces a maximum of 5 years 8 months in prison. The next court date in the case is April 19, in which Kline will try to persuade the judge that the complaint is not legally sound.