Los Angeles, California February 5, 2002
Judges Sticking Together!
O.C. judge charged with child molestation
IRVINE -- An Orange County Superior Court judge who was already facing federal charges of possessing child pornography was today arrested and charged with four counts of child molestation.
Ronald Kline, 61, was arrested at his Irvine home early this morning. He later posted $100,000 bail on state charges that he performed oral copulation on a minor between October 1976 and October 1978. The state filed four counts against Kline, who has been a judge since 1995.
The alleged molestation began when the victim, a neighborhood boy who Kline befriended, was 12 years old. If convicted on the state charges, Kline faces up to 14 years in prison. He will be arraigned on February 6 .
The state charges were filed after the alleged victim came forward after reading news accounts that Kline was facing federal child pornography charges. Kline was charged on Nov. 9 with six felony counts of possessing child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
A 1999 state law allows police to charge people with sexual crimes dating back decades, if there is corroboration. The normal statute of limitations does not apply in this case. ....
Kline has indicated that he would run for re-election to the bench. But Gay Sandoval, a Costa Mesa lawyer and child advocate, has been organizing a write-in campaign to fill the post with a different person.
Judges sign petition for accused colleague
Twenty jurists sign election document for Ronald Kline, facing child-porn case.
By JOHN McDONALD
Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline obtained the
signatures of 20 fellow judges on his re-election petition during
a courthouse "signing party" two weeks after he was
charged with possession of child pornography.
He was charged in federal court Nov. 5 with possession of child pornography.
He pleaded not guilty to an indictment alleging that 100 images of child pornography were on his home computer.
Costa Mesa lawyer Gay Sandoval is attempting a write-in campaign against him. ....
Among those who signed the petition was Judge William Froeberg, husband of Assistant District Attorney Rosanne Froeberg, who heads the district attorney's sex-crimes unit and is supervising the local part of the Kline investigation.
Judge Froeberg declined to comment.
Rosanne Froeberg did not return phone calls.
Judge James Stotler also signed. He is married to U.S. District Judge Alice Marie Stotler, who was assigned Monday to be the trial judge in the Kline case. ....
University of Southern California Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, an ethics authority, said the fact that the prosecutor's husband signed the petition "looks funny, but I don't think it violates any law." ....