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Judge Dismisses 6 of 7 Counts in Presidio Child Abuse Case

February 11, 1988|United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge Wednesday dismissed six of the seven remaining criminal counts against Gary Hambright, a former Presido day care center worker accused of child abuse.

U.S. District Judge William Schwarzer ruled that the indictment of Hambright was too vague and tossed out all but one of the remaining counts. He tossed out five of the original 12 counts in late January.

Schwarzer dismissed the six counts because they accused Hambright, 33, a Southern Baptist minister, of "lewd and lascivious behavior" but did not specify the alleged acts. The remaining count specifically charges Hambright with oral copulation with an individual minor.

"The facts surrounding the offenses are essential to the prosecution," Schwarzer ruled. "It's not sufficient to use generic terms like 'lewd and lascivious.' "

Assistant U.S. Atty. Eb Luckel said he would go before a grand jury for a third time to seek new charges.

"We're going to provide an indictment that has specific examples," Luckel said.

"That's all we asked for," said defense attorney Geoffrey Hansen. His partner, lawyer Nanci Clarence, predicted that the accusations would not stand up under a third round of scrutiny by the grand jury.

Hambright worked as a child supervisor at the day care center at the Presidio Army base from June, 1985, to November, 1986. He was originally indicted Dec. 30, 1986, but those charges were dropped after a federal judge refused to allow the parents or a doctor to testify about the child's description of the alleged incident. Hambright was indicted again last September.

Clarence said Hambright is working and living quietly in an undisclosed area awaiting his trial, set to begin April 4.

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