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S.F. Presidio Abuse Case Falls Apart

February 18, 1988|Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge Wednesday dismissed the last remaining child molestation charge against a former Presidio Army base day-care center worker originally charged with 11 counts of molestation.

U.S. District Judge William Schwarzer took the action after the U.S. attorney's office learned that parents of the victim of alleged oral copulation were no longer willing to participate in the trial set for April 4.

U.S. Atty. Joseph Russoniello said investigators will continue to examine evidence in the case involving Gary Hambright, 34.

His staff will "see if there's not some way to put together a salvageable case that can be prosecuted," Russoniello said.

Hambright had faced 11 molestation charges involving 10 children. Five of the counts were dismissed when the government said there were problems with the evidence. Hambright's case has been presented to a grand jury twice.

He had been charged in December, 1986, with molesting a 2-year-old boy at the day-care center, but was freed when the boy was found incapable of testifying and the judge refused to allow second-hand reports of his statements.

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