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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Man, 87, Guilty in Child Molestations

September 21, 1993|DWAYNE BRAY

After more than a year of court delays caused by the defendant's reported poor health, an 87-year-old Ventura man pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of lewd acts on a child in the molestation two girls.

Albert L. Timms, who appeared in court in a wheelchair and hooked up to an oxygen tank, will be sentenced Nov. 4 after a court-ordered psychological report on him has been completed.

Timms was convicted of one criminal count in connection with each of the two girls. The incidents occurred during the first half of 1988 when both girls were under age 12, officials said Monday.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Carol Nelson said physical force was not used on either of the victims, who are now 16 and 9. Timms won nearly a dozen continuances in his year-old trial because of reported ill health.

"The real fight in this case was getting it going," the prosecutor said.

Nelson said she prefers the plea bargain to spare the victims testifying at a trial. In addition, she said, juries tend to have sympathy for elderly defendants.

Nelson said she would withhold a recommendation on whether the elderly defendant should be sent to state prison until the psychological examination is finished.

Timms had originally been accused of molesting three girls under age 10 between 1987 and 1989 in his home. In February, Ventura County Superior Court Judge James M. McNally ruled that the defendant was too ill to withstand a trial after a doctor testified that Timms needed a pacemaker. Timms, however, refused to have the device implanted.

Nelson had produced a variety of witnesses to testify that Timms was fit to stand trial, including a woman who said she was a former prostitute and had had sex with Timms approximately once a month until she moved out of his home in June.

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