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Charges dropped against Maldonado

Charges against former Shafter code enforcement officer Mathhew Maldonado have been dropped by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

Maldonado had faced five counts of felony child molest/annoy. He was arrested in January 2022 and had his case continued for over a year.

Judge had ruled that Maldonado’s three previous investigations could not be introduced during this trial, making it more difficult for the prosecution to move forward with their case. The prosecutor also did not have one of the alleged victims in the case available, another roadblock in the case.

The District Attorney’s Office released a statement that said the judge did not find that prior alleged victims’ statements were false, but he excluded the evidence on other grounds.

Context from the previous accusers was necessary to establish Maldonado’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors said, and overcome claims of accident or incidental contact.

According to the release, “Stripped of the ability to present the prior victims’ testimony, the people could not proceed on the case as there was not a reasonable chance of establishing proof beyond a reasonable doubt required for conviction.”

“The court’s ruling was disappointing , and ultimately by prohibiting the admission of relevant evidence in exactly the type of case that prior evidence is important for, the court effectively usurped the role of the jury and ensured that a conviction could not occur.”

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into allegations of a similar sort against Maldonado while he was the code enforcement officer in Wasco, and no charges were filed in that case.

 

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