Prominent auto dealer Tony McCune testified in a packed courtroom Wednesday that he had sex with prostitutes provided by alleged madam Karen Wilkening.
McCune, who has not been charged with any offense, appeared after he was subpoenaed by the San Diego County district attorney’s office as a witness in the preliminary hearing of Wilkening, 43, who is charged with 28 counts of pimping and pandering and other charges stemming from her flight from the country.
McCune’s name first surfaced in a preliminary hearing for Wilkening before she fled the country in September, 1987, for the Philippines.
Wilkening and lawyer Buford Wiley Jr. have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice as the result of her disappearance while facing chargers. Wilkening was arrested in Manila last month and returned to San Diego.
Since then, McCune’s office, car and home have been searched by police armed with a search warrant as part of the investigation.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis declined comment when asked if McCune were going to be charged with a crime.
According to court documents, McCune provided Wiley with thousands of dollars to be given to Wilkening while she was a fugitive.
Attorney Brent Barnes, 52, of Bonita, who was Wilkening co-defendant when she was charged in 1987, also testified at the hearing before San Diego Municipal Judge Lisa Guy-Schall Wednesday. Barnes pleaded no contest in that case and was sentenced to 120 days at a work furlough center.
Clasped Hand on Leaving
As he left the courtroom Wednesday, Barnes clasped Wilkening’s hand in a friendly fashion.
Businessman Ronald Coover, another witness Wednesday, testified that Wilkening provided him with three women whom he paid to have sex with. He said he paid one woman $100 and two others $150 each.
Coover said he met Wilkening at a New Year’s Eve party at Horton Plaza, and she told him she had a friend in town who needed a date.
Also testifying was Teresa Maes, 28, who identified herself as a prostitute who worked for Wilkening for one year, said she met her in 1983. Maes said she charged $150 “for an appointment” and gave $50 of that to Wilkening.
“Sometimes people did not want sex; sometimes they just wanted to be talked to,” Maes said.
Attorney Marilyn Huff appeared at the hearing on behalf of television channels 8 and 10 after the judge ruled that one witness, a former prostitute, not be identified by name in court or photographed.
Huff told the judge that “the public has a right to know about these proceedings.”
Guy-Schall ordered the TV cameras not to photograph the witness and told the attorneys only to refer to her as Jane Doe I. The woman is now married, has a family and fears for her safety if identified publicly, said an attorney.