Coffee Shop-2403

Archived photo of Tauney Lee Van Sickle and Frank Mark Sanchez, in 2008, at the soft opening of The Rocket Cafe coffee house at 19th and Eye streets. Both are now charged with sex crimes.

The conversation began with the nurse answering questions about her boyfriend. She told Bakersfield police she was knew Frank Mark Sanchez had been arrested and charged with sex crimes involving a child.

She had dated Sanchez from about 2007 to 2009, she said. A young girl was often around him but he seemed to be a father figure, the nurse said in recently released court documents. 

Then police asked Tauney Lee Van Sickle, 31, if Sanchez had ever had sexual contact with the child. Van Sickle said she had never seen anything like that, the documents say.

What about sexual contact between herself and the child? Again, she said no.

Then detectives used a ruse. They told Van Sickle they had a photo of her nude with the child, the documents say. They followed up by saying they also had a sexually explicit video of the minor and a woman who they believed was Van Sickle. 

Van Sickle then changed her story — and by the time the interrogation was over, Van Sickle had admitted to being nude with and engaging in sexual contact with the then- 11-year-old, according to the documents.

She told investigators the teen was jealous of her, and the two of them fought for Sanchez's attention.

Van Sickle told investigators she committed the acts to make money for a "sex blog" that Sanchez was running, according to the documents. She said he photographed her and the minor while they were nude for use on the blog. 

Now both Van Sickle and Sanchez face multiple charges related to sex acts with a minor. The alleged victim, now 20, said Van Sickle engaged in inappropriate behavior with her five times over a six-month period while the nurse was dating Sanchez. 

Van Sickle made a brief appearance Wednesday in court, where her preliminary hearing was postponed to Jan. 18. Sanchez, who sometimes goes by the last name Kruz, is being held on $1 million bail and is next due in court Feb. 14. Both were arrested last month.

Sanchez was the owner of the downtown cocktail lounge the Green Room, which closed following his arrest.

Van Sickle's attorney, Kyle J. Humphrey, said Wednesday his client denies the allegations against her. Since dating Sanchez — who is more than two decades her senior — Van Sickle has led a "really good life," the attorney said.

Van Sickle became a good student and obtained a job in an admirable field, Humphrey said. She's also engaged, and her fiance is supportive of her during this difficult time because he knows the type of person she is, he said. 

Speaking generally, Humphrey said, people can sometimes be "flummoxed" into agreeing with people in authority. If an authority figure tells someone they're wrong, some people change their stories to please the other person. 

"When I read reports, I always know I have to do my own investigation because there are certain tactics and techniques used by law enforcement where they elicit information from someone that could be false," Humphrey said. 

According to court documents, the alleged victim went to police headquarters Aug. 28 with her mother and told police Sanchez began abusing her when she was 5 years old.

From the ages of 5 to 7, the woman told police, Sanchez engaged in sex acts with her at least once a week. Sometimes he photographed or filmed her during the acts, she said, and she believes he posted nude images of her online.

Sanchez admitted to the abuse, according to the documents. He told investigators there are no other victims. 

The woman said she was also forced to engage in a three-way sex act with Sanchez and a woman, documents say. That woman was later identified by police as Van Sickle.

Jason Kotowski can be reached at 661-395-7491. Follow him on Twitter: @tbcbreakingnews.

(2) comments


Oh snap.....they tricked me into revealing I was a never happened.....yeah.....that's the ticket. Gee, its a good thing they didn't say they had photos of you on the grassy knoll or you would have admitted to assassination.


People v. Jones (1998) 17 Cal.4th 279 , 70 Cal.Rptr.2d 793; 949 P.2d 890

Yes, the police can lie about evidence to obtain a confession. That does not invalidate the confession. Where was lawyer during interrogation?

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