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Judge Reinstates Felony Convictions

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Reversing his own earlier ruling, a Superior Court judge Tuesday reinstated 10 felony child-molestation convictions that he had dismissed against a former Camarillo church official.

A jury in December convicted Robert C. Rose of charges in connection with fondling a teen-age girl while he was director of a Catholic youth program at St. Mary Magdalen.

The girl told the jury that Rose, 49, would fondle her in his car when he gave her rides home from program meetings. She was 12 at the time, she testified, and said the sexual relationship began in January, 1993, and lasted several months.

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In February, however, Superior Court Judge Ken W. Riley sustained a defense motion to throw out the jury verdict and order a new trial.

The defense had contended that the jury, during deliberations, was erroneously given a police report to read that might have prejudiced the panel against Rose.

The exhibit dealt with an unsubstantiated allegation that Rose may have tried to destroy some evidence related to the case before his trial.

In reinstating the convictions Tuesday, Riley said he weighed the girl’s testimony and other evidence against the error that occurred. He ruled that Rose probably would have been convicted even without the error.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Saundra Brewer and defense attorney James M. Farley--the two lawyers who tried the case--could not be reached Tuesday.

The judge set sentencing for April 25.

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