Frank Mark Sanchez, the former owner of downtown Bakersfield cocktail lounge The Green Room, will not be tried separately from his ex-girlfriend on charges the two engaged in sex acts with a minor and recorded some of the encounters, a Kern County judge reaffirmed Wednesday.
In denying multiple motions filed on behalf of Sanchez — some of which the prosecution noted had already been discussed and ruled on in prior hearings — Judge Michael G. Bush also said the District Attorney's office is not required to go through a 1,300-page PDF file containing evidence in the case and separate legal images from those containing child pornography, and to then provide the legal images to the defense.
Sanchez's public defender, Paul Cadman, argued he needed to send the legal images to an out-of-state expert he's bringing onto the case.
"I'm entitled to discovery whether it's 13 pages or 113,000 pages," Cadman told the court.
Prosecutor Alexandria Ottoman said she's made the images available for review at the District Attorney's office for the counsel for both defendants. She cannot by law send the PDF file to the defense attorneys since some of the images contain child pornography.
She argued the legal images aren't relevant.
"Your honor, I've practiced law for 33 years," Cadman responded. "I'm not interested in the district attorney's opinion of what's relevant."
Bush, however, determined Cadman was not entitled to copies of the legal images, and could instead review the file at the prosecutor's office as previously arranged.
Both Sanchez, 54, and Tauney Lee Van Sickle, 32, have admitted to engaging in sex acts with the same child when the child was 11 years old, according to their statements to police contained in court documents. Van Sickle, represented by attorney David A. Torres, said some of the acts were filmed for a "sex blog" run by Sanchez.
Sanchez is accused of abusing the victim since she was 5, and he and Van Sickle dated during a period of time the abuse occurred, the documents said. The victim is now an adult.
Ottoman has said the cases against the two involve the same victim, the same type of offenses and the same evidence.
On Wednesday, Cadman asked for a preliminary hearing for his client. Sanchez previously waived his right to a preliminary hearing — where a judge determines if there's enough evidence for a defendant to stand trial — but Cadman said that was before the charging document was amended and Van Sickle was added as co-defendant.
The two had originally been charged separately and appeared at separate hearings.
"He was duped into waiving his prelim," Cadman said of his client.
Bush denied the motion.
Sanchez and Van Sickle are scheduled to go to trial Aug. 13.