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Charge dropped against SoCal pedophile

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2007/08/22 14:19

A self-described pedophile was released from jail after prosecutors dropped a criminal case accusing him of violating a judge's order prohibiting him from being within 30 feet of children anywhere in California for three years. Prosecutors could not pursue the case against Jack McClellan, 45, after they determined the order was invalid because the judge failed to schedule and give McClellan proper notice of a hearing required to argue the merits of imposing such a long-lasting order before it is issued. McClellan was released from jail Tuesday.

He was arrested Aug. 13 for investigation of violating the order when he was found near a child care center at the University of California, Los Angeles. He had a camera with him at the time, but he told a local TV station that there wasn't any film in it.

McClellan was arrested again — several hours later — this time for trespassing after he did an interview with the TV station on university grounds. He had been told not to return to the campus after his first arrest. Prosecutors did not pursue the trespassing charges.

Superior Court Judge Melvin Sandvig issued the order Aug. 3 requiring McClellan to stay at least 30 feet away from every person under age 18 in California for a three-year period, said Nick Velasquez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

A three-year order amounts to what is termed a preliminary injunction, and cannot be issued without the statutory hearing and notice requirements, according to the city attorney's office.

Superior Court spokeswoman Pat Kelly said Sandvig could not comment because the case is pending. A call to his chambers went unanswered late Tuesday.

A cellphone message left for McClellan was not returned.

McClellan is unemployed and has been living out of his car. He stirred controversy in Southern California when he arrived this summer from Washington state, where he had lived with his parents.

McClellan maintained a website in Washington where he posted photos of children he had taken in public places. He also discussed how he liked to stake out parks, public libraries, fast-food restaurants and other areas where little girls, or "LGs," congregated.

His server took his website down more than a month ago. McClellan, who said he lives on supplemental security income and suffers from depression, has maintained that he launched the site as a form of therapy and wouldn't do anything illegal.

McClellen also has a hearing set for Friday on a temporary restraining order preventing him from coming within 10 yards of children in the city of Santa Clarita in northern Los Angeles County, authorities said.


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