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Freed Members of Spur Posse Get Heroes' Welcome

March 24, 1993|DAVID FERRELL and TINA GRIEGO | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

"We haven't yet figured out exactly what it is they're angry about, or what they're reluctant about," the deputy said of the district attorney's staff. "(But) if I were a betting man, I'd bet this was not over."

The district attorney's office announced that the only provable charges against four of the suspects involved unlawful intercourse with minors. That determination apparently was at odds with sheriff's detectives who believed they could show that the suspects coerced the girls to have sex through the use of force, in one case, or verbal threats, in other instances, sources said.

Without compelling proof of rape, the district attorney's office abided by an unwritten policy, spokeswoman Suzanne Childs said. The office does not file charges in unlawful intercourse cases if the minors involved are of roughly the same age and social experience, Childs said.

"Politics had nothing to do with it," Childs said. "Cases are rejected all the time."

Although rumors circulated that the Sheriff's Department would bring political pressure against newly elected Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti to take a more aggressive stance in prosecuting the Spurs, authorities only said that the two offices would continue to work together in collecting and reviewing evidence.

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