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Court Watch: Plea Agreement in Rooms Molestation Case; Explicit Testimony in Alvarez

Rooms-CrisRooms Pleads No Contest to Child Molestations Charges, Will Receive 30 Years

By David Greenwald

Esparto resident Christan Rooms, 31, who was arrested in 2011 on charges he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy he coached in soccer, plead no contest on Monday to 12 different counts that stem from molestation charges against at least four youths, all of them 14 or under at the time when they were molested.

Judge Mock proposed a 30-year determinate term for the no contest plea, that includes over two years of custody time already served.  During the hearing, Judge Mock was not certain how long the parole period would last after Mr. Rooms is finally released.

Deputy DA Rob Gorman asked the court to dismiss all of the other charges in exchange for Mr. Rooms pleading to 12 of them.  Mr. Rooms faced at least 90 charges, including continuous sexual assault of a child, and involving the use of force, violence and duress.  Had he gone to trial as planned, he would have faced hundreds of years in prison.

Mr. Rooms was originally arrested in his Esparto home in December 2011 and booked on charges of charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor using force or fear, five counts of continuous sexual assault of a child, and child endangerment.

The original charges came as the result of an alleged assault of a 14-year-old boy for whom he had acted as a coach and mentor.  Quickly more victims arose in the case, and the charges topped 50 counts.

According to a lengthy criminal complaint, Mr. Rooms showered with one of the victims at various times between June 12, 2007 and June 11, 2011.  Mr. Rooms allegedly touched the child’s buttocks and genitals through clothing.

Between February 1, 2011 and November 2011, Mr. Rooms endangered the health of a second victim when he spanked and gave an enema to the child.

During the preliminary hearing, one of the victims testified in July 2012 that Mr. Rooms began molesting him in his Esparto home when he was just 13.  The teen testified that Mr. Rooms had diapered him or showered with him, while performing sex acts, at least 30 times between the ages of 13 and 14.

In September 2012, Mr. Gorman added additional charges when a high-tech investigator discovered evidence on Mr. Rooms’ computer that led them to believe there might be additional charges or victims.

AlvarezExplicit Forensic Evidence Presented in Alvarez Trial

By Marya Alloo

Explicit forensic evidence was presented by District Attorney Garrett Hamilton, in the case against former West Sacramento Police Officer Sergio Alvarez.

On Friday January 31, Defense Attorney J. Toney called upon Yolo County District Attorney’s Office Investigator Dorothy Pearson. Pearson has spent thirty years in the field, and works in the high tech division, as a forensic investigator who analyzes digital crime.

In the fall of 2012 Pearson was approached by Detective Glenn, and was asked to investigate the patrol car assigned to former officer Sergio Alvarez. Pearson studied the hard drive of the laptop located in the back of the patrol car. This laptop is known as the “brains” of the patrol car, and the hard drive contains all searches made by a police officer in their time on duty.

After doing an extensive search on the hard drive, Pearson discovered multiple searches of a witness who had previously testified as a victim of Alvarez’s sexual abuse. These searches were created, modified, and accessed in a three-day span, ranging from September 9-12 of 2012. The patrol car at the time was authorized to a Sergio A.

Pearson was then asked to analyze a spy camera that was also in the patrol car. When Pearson analyzed the SD card in the camera, she was surprised to find 115,000 images instead of videos. When she contacted the manufacturer of the company why this had happened, the company stated that someone must have taken the SD card, loaded it onto a computer, and deleted the files, which only left individual stills taken by the camera.

When asked by the defense whether the dates of these images were clear, she shook her head stating “the dates and times were erased due to the deletion of the videos.”

Since video footage was deleted, Dorothy had to work extensively to put together the images into a video. Many of these images were of sexually explicit material with a woman whose lower back tattoo matched a tattoo that one of the victims had.

Pearson presented to the jury six individual short clips that she had put together. The contents of the videos contained a woman taking off her shirt and a lower back tattoo that was prominent throughout the clips. Sexual intercourse was also displayed in one of the clips shown, showing the backside of the women, and a male figure standing behind her.  The final clip was of oral sex, which showed evidence that the man receiving was wearing a police uniform, but the clip had poor resolution.

A key argument placed by Mr. Toney was that Pearson had tampered with the original evidence that was on the SD card of the spy camera. Initially, forensic is just supposed to take a copy of the original hardware, but because the videos had been deleted Pearson had to put together the images to create her own individual video clips.

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About David Greenwald

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

One comment

  1. “A key argument placed by Mr. Toney was that Pearson had tampered with the original evidence that was on the SD card of the spy camera. Initially, forensic is just supposed to take a copy of the original hardware, but because the videos had been deleted Pearson had to put together the images to create her own individual video clips.”

    What is this saying? “Original hardware”?

    Is the defense getting acknowledgment from Investigator Dorothy Pearson that she deleted from (or manipulated) the 115,000 images on the original SD card itself?

    Since it’s so easy to duplicate files from an SD card without affecting the files on the original card, how could an experienced digital crime investigator have done what seems to be suggested?

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