California prosecutor postpones
decision on sergeant's retrial

(LOS ANGELES) -- Prosecutors today postponed announcing whether they will seek a retrial of an ex-sheriff's sergeant acquitted earlier this month of four of 12 molestation counts involving young girls in the Palmdale area.

Deputy district attorneys Rob Dver and Steve Katz said they needed more time to review the monthlong trial that concluded with jurors deadlocking 11- 1 on 12 counts involving two of the four girls who accused Kevin Carney of molesting them.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor, who recently presided over the trial of four Rampart police officers, gave the prosecutors until Dec. 18 to make a decision on re-trying Carney.

If there is a second trial, Connor is expected to preside. She indicated she would want it to begin as early as March.

Attorney Milton Grimes said he is optimistic that prosecutors will give up their case against the onetime Palmdale city councilman.

''We are anticipating that the District Attorney's Office will recognize it will be a waste of taxpayers' money to pursue this case,'' Grimes said outside $ % court.

''I think that their case is going to get worse because there's going to be more inconsistencies the next time,'' he said, referring to differences that cropped up during the trial between the girls' initial statements to investigators and their court testimony.

Several jurors told reporters after the trial that they doubted the truthfulness of the alleged victims, who are now between 10 and 15 years old.

Carney said after today's hearing that he was eager for the matter to be put to rest.

''We're just looking forward to getting our lives back,'' he told reporters. ''I don't know what the future holds, but my life's not over yet. And I'm not going to let this ruin my life.''

But he expressed bitterness toward prosecutors, saying his reputation had been ''tarnished'' because of ''false charges and deliberately malicious prosecution by Mr. (Gil) Garcetti, Mr. Dver and Mr. Katz.''

In the first trial, a single juror was in favor of a guilty verdict on the 12 counts -- including continuous sexual abuse, unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a child -- that mostly involved the 15-year-old daughter of a friend.

The teen-ager testified that Carney sexually abused her since the age of six, and finally pressured her into having sex with him in 1998.

Carney, 49, who once supervised the sheriff's child abuse unit at the Lancaster Station, was relieved of his sheriff's department duties because of the allegations. He eventually retired.

A few months after winning the city council seat, he voluntarily resigned to fight the charges against him.

Molestation Retrial Still Possible For Ex-Sheriff's Sergeant By Laura Loh November 30, 2000, Thursday Terms and Conditions Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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