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Judge Refuses to Reduce Bail in Molestation Case

March 17, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A Superior Court judge Thursday refused to lower the $1-million bail for Kevin Wright Carney, the former Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant and Palmdale City Councilman accused of molesting four Antelope Valley girls.

Despite pleas from Carney, his wife, two sons and a brother, Judge Larry Fidler said the bail was appropriate, given the seriousness of the 17 felony child-molestation charges filed in January.

Fidler said the bail was appropriate because of Carney's possible "violation of trust" as a longtime sheriff's deputy. Fidler set a trial date for Thursday in Judge Jacqueline Connor's downtown courtroom.

During the hearing, family members pleaded with Fidler to lower Carney's bail. They said Carney, 48, who once served as a school board president and supervisor of a sheriff's child-abuse unit, is a respected community leader.

"Yesterday was our silver anniversary. What a way to celebrate it," testified Carney's wife, Kathleen. "I've known him for 30 years. I love him with all my heart. I know he's innocent. It just breaks my heart to see this."

Carney's attorney, Milton Grimes, argued that a $100,000 bail would be appropriate.

Carney's Oct. 29 arrest was triggered when a 14-year-old girl, a friend of the Carney family, went to the Lancaster sheriff's station and said the sergeant had molested her. Four days later, Carney was elected to the Palmdale City Council.

Carney has since resigned from both the council and the Sheriff's Department. He has been held at Men's Central Jail. If convicted of all charges, Carney faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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