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Jury weighs case of former Lodi resident accused of child sex crimes

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Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2005 10:00 pm

A jury is deliberating the case of the San Andreas fire chief, a former Lodi resident, who has denied he sexually abused a 17-year-old girl in 1988.

While on the stand for about 15 minutes Friday, San Andreas Fire Protection District Chief Erie Donald Young, 50, denied raping or orally copulating his main accuser who lived in his family homes in Lodi and San Andreas off and on since she was 12. The woman now is 35 years old.

She claimed Young, who said he is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 320 pounds, started abusing her when she was 12. But Young is only charged with alleged crimes from January to June 31, 1988.

He and his lawyers say the woman has a history of promiscuity and lacks credibility.

When asked to remember the exact date of the alleged incident, she said, "My mind won't let me go back that far. My mind won't let me unlock it." She said Young had driven her to the swimming pool where she thought other friends and Young's wife of 28 years, Susan, would join her. However, she later found that Susan had not planned to go to the pool that day.

Previously known only as "Jane Doe," Young's main accuser said last week she did not want her name released because she feared her suburban Northern California home would be bombed. Young was arrested Aug. 28, 2003, at his home on a warrant stemming from a Lodi police investigation. Police detectives searched Young's home April 10, 2003, and gathered hair and carpet-fiber samples to see if they matched material found in a package bomb placed in a Sacramento County woman's mailbox in 2002. But the bomb was never directly linked to Young.

Court records show that a month before the bomb was found, Young's son allegedly threatened to kill the woman if she made public her claims that the elder Young molested her 20 years earlier.

The woman said the elder Young sexually abused her during the mid-1980s when he worked for a mortuary next to his San Andreas home while driving to pick up or drop off bodies in Lodi for cremation. Young is a former deputy coroner.

While prosecution witnesses testified that Young mistreated women in his home and at the fire station, defense witnesses called him affectionate, "huggy" and a "father-figure" while trying to say his chief accuser is a liar.

The chief accuser in the trial said the elder Young had intercourse or oral sex with her in a mortuak0ry office or at his home up to 100 times.

She said the last time Young tried to have sex with her was when was 19, pregnant with her first child and separated from her first husband who had beaten her.

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