The former sports editor of The Merced Sun-Star newspaper must stand trial on charges of attempted child molestation. A Stanislaus County Superior Court judge ruled yesterday there was enough evidence to try Don Eldridge. Eldridge was arrested in September for allegedly trying to solicit sex over the Internet from a deputy posing as a 13-year-old girl.
During a preliminary hearing yesterday — Eldridge´s attorney argued his client had no intent to commit a crime. Kirk McAllister said Eldridge never got out of his truck before his arrest. But Judge John Griffin Junior said he made his decision based on police transcripts. Police recorded the instant computer messages Eldridge sent to the deputy and taped a telephone conversation between Eldridge and the deputy as they made plans to meet.