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Decision On Charges Could Come Today

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A motion to dismiss child molestation charges against San Andreas Fire Chief Don Young was postponed Thursday until 1:30 p.m. today.

Young´s attorney, Brian Chavez-Ochoa, filed a demurrer last month, which basically challenges the sufficiency of the complaint on questions of jurisdiction and the statute of limitations.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Mewhinney was making a tentative ruling on the demurrer Thursday afternoon, as well as on an amended complaint filed by the District Attorney´s Office, when he decided to excuse himself from the matter completely.

Mewhinney said he had more than just a casual relationship with Young, and had even conducted the marriage ceremony for the fire chief´s daughter.

A visiting judge is expected to rule on the matter today.

Young, 48, is accused of sexually molesting the complainant the first six months of 1988 when she was about 15. She´s 32 now. The complaint against Young originally was filed in San Joaquin County, since that´s where he and the complainant lived at the time most of the alleged incidents occurred.

California law was changed in 1994 to extend the time period sexual abuse victims could file complaints.

But when the United States Supreme Court declared that unconstitutional, the San Joaquin District Attorney´s Office dropped their investigation. However, the Supreme Court decision did allow a small window of opportunity that allowed the woman to file a complaint for incidents that allegedly occurred in Calaveras County.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Craig Koscho. For more Calaveras news,