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Chief faces sex-crime charges

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

The chief of the San Andreas Fire Protection District is accused of raping and molesting a woman more than 16 years ago.

The allegations against Erie Donald Young Sr., 48, surfaced Aug. 29, 2002, when a San Joaquin County woman found a bomb in her mailbox. During the investigation, she told authorities she'd been molested by Young from the time she was 7 to 18 years old, and raped after she turned 13.

The woman is now 32 years old. The criminal complaint filed against Young by the Calaveras County District Attorney's Office a week ago refers to her as Jane Doe.

Young is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in Calaveras County Superior Court at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23.

He was arrested Thursday at his home on the 400 block of Pope Street in San Andreas without incident, a Calaveras County Sheriff's Department report said.

Young posted $50,000 bail the same day and was released.

Young could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"The charges are egregious fabrications, and we finally have the opportunity to prove these allegations are lies and to clear the chief's name and his reputation," said Brian Chavez-Ochoa, Young's Valley Springs attorney.

San Andreas Fire Protection District Chairman Ken Snyder said Young is "innocent until proven guilty" and will continue to serve as fire chief.

"He does a very good job with the community and the district, and we're not making any changes at this time," Snyder said.

Most of the sexual activity is alleged to have occurred in Galt and Lodi, but two incidents are alleged to have taken place in Calaveras County between January and June 1988, Calaveras County District Attorney Jeff Tuttle said.

Those are the only two instances that can be prosecuted, Tuttle said, because the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled it would be unconstitutional to prosecute cases that stemmed from events before 1988.

Until 1994, sex-crime victims in California had six years to report a crime before the statute of limitations on prosecution elapsed.


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