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SANTA ANA : Ex-Prosecutor Cleared of Assault Allegations

February 17, 1995|DAVID HALDANE

A former Orange County deputy district attorney has been cleared of allegations that he sexually assaulted a female witness in a case he was prosecuting.

An investigation by the state attorney general's office has concluded that the allegations against Michael J. Curls do not warrant prosecution, said Curls' attorney, Ronald G. Brower. And a separate investigation by the California State Bar Assn. found a "lack of sufficient proof and not even probable cause" to hold Curls liable, Brower said.

Curls, 29, was accused by a Tustin woman, the victim in a domestic violence case he had been assigned to prosecute, of forcibly kissing and fondling her. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, and later resigned.

"As anybody in law enforcement knows," Brower said, "once criminal accusations are made against you, the cloud is always over your head. The working environment for him simply was no longer what it had been before."

Now in private practice in Los Angeles County, Brower said, Curls does not plan to seek reinstatement.

"He's very relieved," Brower said. "And he's somewhat depressed that his career had to take this turn over false accusations."

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