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Molestation conviction tossed

July 10, 2003

Even Marmol

The child molestation conviction of Carl Robert Bucy, a former Sowers

Middle School teacher, was overturned last week because of the

landmark U.S. Supreme Court verdict that reinstated statutes of

limitations to prosecute certain child molestation cases.

The Orange County Superior Court was force to throw out Bucy's

guilty pleas to three counts of lewd conduct with a minor.

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Bucy had confessed to the conduct with a 12-year-old female middle

school student in 1973, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Sheila Hanson, who

has been on the case since 1996. It was in 1996 that the victim

realized that Bucy was still teaching, and she wanted to prevent

future abuse. She contacted police, and Bucy was charged in 1997.

He had been placed on three years' formal probation and ordered to

perform 400 hours of community service and pay restitution. He had

also been ordered to register as a sex offender, Hanson said.

He will no longer appear as a registered sex offender.

His record has been expunged, and people will no longer warned of

the possible threat that he poses.

Bucy's attorney, Jennifer Keller, did not return calls.

"I am disappointed that justice was not served, that an individual

that admitted to guilt can no longer be punished," Hanson said. "I

have spent a lot of time with the victim. It was very frustrating

having to inform her what the effect of the supreme court decision

was."

Bucy's conviction is one of many overturned after the Supreme

Court decision.

"In a number of cases where people have been convicted, they have

had their records expunged, and certain number of current cases have

had to be dismissed," said Assistant Dist. Atty. Rosanne Froeberg,

who supervises sexual assault cases in Orange County. "I am

disappointed because whenever we have a known child molester or

rapists that avoids public notification, we fail the public."

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