A Burbank woman who directs the Glendale Bar Assn.'s Lawyer Referral Service has been ordered to stand trial on charges that she sexually molested three young boys.
Burbank Superior Court Judge Alan Kalkin, after hearing testimony from the children during a closed preliminary hearing last Thursday, ordered Kathleen Bond, 38, to be arraigned June 22 in Pasadena Superior Court on five counts of child molestation.
Bond, director of a nonprofit service that makes referrals for low-cost legal assistance, could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The charges stem from a three-month investigation by Burbank police touched off when the boys' father reported that his oldest son, 12, told him that Bond had involved all three boys in sexual acts including fondling and sexual intercourse.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Mark Collier in March filed nine charges against Bond. Collier later added three similar charges, bringing the total to 12.
Kalkin last week dismissed seven charges and ordered Bond to face trial on the remaining five, covering acts alleged to have occurred between 1982 and last December. Four of those allege molestation of the oldest boy; the fifth alleges incidents involving a 10-year-old.
Kalkin dismissed all charges alleging molestation of the youngest child, 7, because the boy's testimony during the preliminary hearing was too vague, Collier and Bond's attorney, Donald R. Klahs, said.
"I would say the youngest was the weakest link in the case," said Collier, who said he is not bound by Kalkin's ruling and will attempt to try Bond on six charges. "But I thought the other two were both good witnesses and very credible."
Klahs, arguing that their testimony should be discredited, contended that all three boys had been coached by their father.
"If you sat down and looked at this and believed it, this woman would have had to have been the most sexually active female on the face of the earth to have had sexual relations with these boys over such a long period of time," Klahs said. "It's incredible that anybody would believe it."
In court Thursday, Kalkin granted Klahs' request to close the preliminary hearing, ruling that publicity could traumatize the children.
Only the three boys testified at the hearing. Collier said more evidence will be presented at Bond's trial, but he refused to describe its nature.