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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Ex-Official Free on Bail in Molestation Case

May 17, 2000

PALMDALE — Kevin Carney, the former Palmdale city councilman and sheriff's sergeant charged with molesting four Antelope Valley girls, has been released on bail.

Carney's release follows last Friday's decision by a Superior Court judge to reduce his bail from $1 million to $500,000.

Since January, Carney, 48, had been held in an isolation cell at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. His initial bail was $2 million but was lowered to $1 million in March. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Several family members and friends testified last Friday that Carney would not be a flight or security risk if he were released. Supporters have worked for months on a defense fund for the 23-year Sheriff's Department veteran and former school board president.

Carney was charged in January with 17 felony counts of child molestation, sexual abuse and oral copulation. Some of the alleged incidents date to 1990, when Carney supervised a child-abuse unit of the Sheriff's Department.

While in jail, Carney resigned after just two months on the Palmdale City Council.

He was arrested on Oct. 29 after a 14-year-old girl went to the Lancaster sheriff's station and said she had been molested. Carney was elected to the council four days later.

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