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Friday, February 15, 2008

[CA] Transcript on 8 felony counts against Rodrigues still sealed

...Felony charges against Rodrigues include three counts of forcible rape, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration and one count each of spousal rape, attempted rape and domestic violence...

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Transcript sealed until March
Hollister Freelance
By Michael Van Cassell
Feb 14, 2008
[Excerpts] A judge Thursday ordered that the transcript from a grand jury indicting a former sheriff's deputy on multiple felonies remain sealed until March so an attorney can challenge evidence contained within. Former San Benito County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Rodrigues, who was not present in court Thursday, was indicted in December on eight felony charges, including seven suspected sex crimes. The transcript from the grand jury that indicted Rodrigues, a 25-year veteran, was due to be released in early January. That transcript will remain sealed until Mar. 4, San Benito County Superior Court Judge Harry Tobias ruled. The district attorney, in originally pushing for its sealing, reasoned it would protect the anonymity of suspected victims. An open records attorney, however, has contended that the transcript should be released because the suspected victims' names previously had been released in a criminal complaint. He also said the court could simply redact names from the transcript. Felony charges against Rodrigues include three counts of forcible rape, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration and one count each of spousal rape, attempted rape and domestic violence... The judge ordered the transcript remain sealed after hearing Miller's argument that releasing the document would create a "soap opera" and that evidence could be inadmissible... In November, San Benito County Sheriff Curtis Hill announced Rodrigues was "no longer employed by the County of San Benito"...

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