Sheriff’s Department Mistake Leaves Expert ‘Pissed,’ Sex Crimes Trial Delayed

By Roxanna Jarvis

SACRAMENTO – A mistake by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department left one court-approved expert “pissed” after the department failed to provide a Zoom link to conduct a defendant’s evaluation, as was revealed here in Sacramento County Superior Court.

The “very busy” expert has since been “difficult,” leaving the question as to when the evaluation, the only thing keeping a two-year-long child molestation case from moving forward, will be carried out.

Defendant Jeremy Lane, currently in custody at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC), is charged with three felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child under 14 by use of force, violence, or duress, and one felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child using sodomy.

With the hearing history of the case going back to November 2018, Lane’s attorney, Chet Templeton, and the Court are eager to move the case forward.

But recent events have left a question mark as to when the trial will occur. Attorney Templeton explained to Judge Michael Sweet why Lane’s upcoming trial date will have to be changed.

“The Sheriff’s Department did not comply and (has) not explained why it did not comply. At this point in time, I immediately notified (the court) clerk afterwards and I don’t know what actions you want to take against the sheriff’s department because my expert is pissed,” said Lane in court.

Templeton had hired a specific expert to evaluate Lane after Judge Sweet had signed off on the order. Templeton gave the order to a sergeant stationed at RCCC who told him that the issue would be handled. Templeton also sent a copy of the order to an email address he was referred to, named ‘mainjailintel.’

The appointment was set and since RCCC had “no Zoom capability,” Lane was moved to the downtown jail to have his evaluation over Zoom. But the Zoom link, supposed to be sent the evening before the appointment, was never received by Templeton to give to the expert. Therefore, an evaluation never occurred.

“(The expert) wants to know who’s gonna reimburse him for moving his schedule around, cancelling appointments, and making himself available at the last minute on a particular date, and he’s been very difficult with me since,” Templeton told the Court.

After the missed evaluation, Templeton called the sergeant at RCCC who told him that he had to “contact people downtown.” Templeton then told Judge Sweet how these orders from the sergeant did not help at all.

“And I said who’s the contact there that I can talk to and he said there’s no one to talk to you just have to use the mainjailintel email…this has happened and I’ve demanded answers and I’ve had zero response,” continued Templeton.

Judge Sweet responded saying that he could contact and follow up with the party Templeton was communicating with downtown. But Templeton stated again that his only contact was the unresponsive “mainjailintel” email.

Deputy District Attorney TeriAnn Grimes then advocated for Templeton, noting that he has been “in constant communication” with her and is “working diligently to try and get this evaluation done.”

She said she and Templeton have “thought outside the box” and believed that if the case were to be sent to the trial court, the expert can use the Zoom link in the trial department to conduct the evaluation.

“The problem with that is that an escort officer would need to be present and the expert is not willing to do the evaluation with an escort officer present,” explained Grimes.

Grimes and Templeton were able to run the idea to an individual, who was then able to get the Sacramento Court CEO involved. While Grimes told the Court that details have been disclosed, the CEO and the jail are “working something out.”

“This is the only thing that has been holding back Mr. Templeton from calling ready on this very old child (molestation) case,” said Grimes.

Judge Sweet noted that things seem to be “moving along” and asked, “Mr. Templeton, do you have dates that your expert can be available? Maybe we’ll try and work around those dates.”

Templeton told Sweet that although someone from the trial court contacted him saying they can set the evaluation for next week, his expert was unavailable. “He said that is way, way too soon and that he often books months in advance. I just think he is more pressured…because I know he vacated and moved appointments. He is a very, very busy man and there is no explanation as to why there was (no evaluation).”

“What date does he have available?” asked Judge Sweet. Templeton responded that all he knows is that the date will be “after the holiday season” and that he is currently waiting for his response.

“My suggestion is that we reset the trial, TRC, and then have a third date to confirm this expert and set it up. But I think you need a date certain and (if it’s) a.m. or p.m., so the jail knows specifically,” recommended Sweet.

“I just don’t know what date to select for a trial date or a potential trial readiness date,” Templeton responded. In an effort to move the case forward, Grimes suggested that they set a date for January and go from there.

“Well, here’s the problem – logistically the case cannot move forward without an expert. We need to work on that expert before we keep setting trial dates and abandoning them….It doesn’t make sense to set a trial date if it’s not a realistic trial date.”

Sweet then added that the Court is now shrinking the number of trials per week due to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

“I will ask for Dec. 23, in the afternoon if that’s okay and then I will continue to work diligently (and) ride the investigator for a specific date he’s available, and continue to work with this newly found person that seems to have a lot of power within the court system to try to make this evaluation happen,” stated Templeton.

“Yeah, it’ll happen.” asserted an optimistic Judge Sweet.

Roxanna Jarvis is a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley, currently majoring in political science with a minor in public policy. She is from Sacramento, California.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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