Jul 11, 2015

Defense may issue "contempt" for subpoena records not provided to former teacher accused of sexual battery and false imprisonment

The jury trial for Ronald Young, a former Humboldt County Office of Education teacher who is charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor might be one of the casualties of "too many cases, not enough courtooms".

Count 1 is Penal Code 220 (a) 1 Rape, Count 2 is Penal Code 243.4 (a) Sexual battery, Count 3 is Penal Code 236 False imprisonment, Count 4 is 273.5 (a) Inflict Corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant and Count 5 is 591.5 Damage/destroy Wireless Communication.

The jury trial was scheduled for July 13. At the trial assignment calendar Friday morning, the issue of subpoenas requested by the defense remained unresolved until later that afternoon. Due to courtroom unavalibility,  Young's attorney Mr. Neal Sanders said "good cause" had been shown and agreed to have the case put on trial assignment for July 17, with the jury trial to start July 20. Visiting Judge Bob McNatt handled those assignments in Courtroom 2.

Later that afternoon, the second subpoena had been scheduled to be heard by Judge Timothy Cissna is Courtroom 4 and an "in-camera hearing" of why the records were being reqiested and it was held ex-parte with Mr. Sanders.

After that hearing, Judge Cissna opened the courtroom. He informed the attorneys that the jury trial was set on the calendar to be called on July 14 and may be ready to go any day next week, even that day.

His decision was to release certain records but not others. Mr. Sanders had not received the mental health records requested. Judge Cissna did not have them, Mr. Sanders said he would check with County Counsel and "may issue a contempt."

DDA Stacey Eads has been handling the case for her colleague, Ms. Kelly Neel, who is prosecuting this case. The victim expressed her objections in court on July 8. DDA Stacey Eads said the defense had to show why their need for the records triumphed the victim's privacy.

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