The attorney representing a former Bakersfield cocktail lounge owner charged with child sex crimes is requesting another hearing for his client after his case was joined to that of an ex-girlfriend accused of similar crimes.
Both Frank Mark 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 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.
Last week, a Kern County judge ruled Sanchez and Van Sickle will stand trial together after a prosecutor told him the cases against the two involved the same victim, the same type of offenses and the same evidence.
At that hearing, Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman, representing Sanchez, argued his client was drugged and extorted by Van Sickle. Her attorney, David A. Torres, said his client blames Sanchez.
In the new motion — filed the day after the cases were joined — Cadman says there are many hours of "alleged child pornography," and a number of videos show only Van Sickle and the child, not Sanchez.
There is evidence, he says, that Sanchez was involved in a legal adult website, and some incidents Van Sickle was involved in have nothing to do with him. Cadman argues Sanchez shouldn't have to defend himself at trial against alleged crimes that apply only to Van Sickle.
He said the two should be tried separately.
"The trial would become a character battle," he wrote," whereas if these two defendants were separated now, Sanchez could prepare his defense free from the unrelated alleged sexual atrocities performed by Van Sickle."
A hearing regarding the motion, and other motions filed in the interim, is set for June 6.
Cadman, Torres and prosecutor Alexandria Ottoman have agreed in court not to speak to the media regarding the case.
The Green Room closed following Sanchez's arrest in December.
Van Sickle was working as a nurse at the time of her Dec. 27 arrest. The state attorney general's office has suspended her nursing license pending the outcome of the criminal case.
The two are scheduled for trial on Aug. 13.