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Former O.C. Judge Won’t Get State Work

Times Staff Writer

A former Orange County Superior Court judge who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography was barred Thursday from receiving work from state courts.

The action against Ronald C. Kline, 65, of Irvine is the most serious punishment the state Commission on Judicial Performance can give a former judge.

If the commission had not taken action, Kline would have been eligible to sit in for judges on vacation or act as a referee handling complex litigation issues.

Eight other judges in the last five years have received similar punishment.

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Kline was arrested in November 2001 after a Canadian hacked into his home computer and discovered hundreds of images of boys engaged in sex.

The hacker, Bradley Willman, relayed the information to a Colorado-based Internet watchdog group, Pedowatch, which informed Irvine police. The police searched Kline’s home and seized his computer.

Kline has been under court-ordered home confinement since his arrest. Under a plea deal with federal prosecutors, he will face up to 33 months in prison when sentenced July 31.

Kline will also be required to register as a sex offender.

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