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South Gate : Councilman Snavely's Sentencing Postponed

June 29, 1989

Sentencing of South Gate Councilman Odell L. Snavely for harboring two teen-age girls at his toy store when he knew they should have been in school has been continued until July 28.

Municipal Court Commissioner J. Francis Spelman last week granted the continuance after Snavely's attorney requested that his client be allowed to seek advice from another lawyer.

Attorney Kenton E. Krogstad told the commissioner during a June 23 sentencing hearing in Huntington Park Municipal Court that Snavely wanted to make a motion before the court but he had counseled Snavely against it. Krogstad told the court he had advised Snavely against making the motion until he had conferred with another lawyer. Neither Snavely nor Krogstad said what the motion was.

In February, Snavely pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of contributing to the truancy of a minor. Each count is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth Freeman said he agreed to the continuance rather than face the possibility later of having the outcome reversed on some technicality.

Freeman has recommended that Snavely serve a one-year jail term and be placed on five years probation.

Before the February plea, the Sheriff's Department conducted a six-month investigation of Snavely after two South Gate Junior High School girls, ages 13 and 14, alleged that Snavely touched them on the breasts while they were working at his business, Del's Gifts and Toys. Freeman has stated that the investigation did not produce enough evidence to file molestation charges against Snavely.

According to a Sheriff's Department report, which is part of Snavely's court file, four girls claimed they had been molested by Snavely, who would pay them to help clean up his store.

Snavely has denied molesting anyone and said the girls fabricated the accusations to distract from the theft of some jewelry from his store. He said he had threatened to report them for truancy unless they returned the jewelry.

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