Local News

Tuesday, Mar 04 2014 12:28 PM

Former 'molestation ring' defendant sentenced to prison for sexually abusing boys in Oregon

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

One of the men imprisoned in connection with the infamous 1980s Kern County molestation ring cases was sentenced to more than five years in prison last summer for sexually abusing three young boys in Oregon.

Grant Self pleaded guilty in July 2013 and was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison, according to The National Registry of Exonerations. The registry, a joint project of the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, contains information on cases where a person was wrongfully accused of a crime and later cleared of the charges.

"The fact that he was arrested and convicted does not surprise me because I have argued all along that he was a child molester," Kern County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Melissa Allen said Tuesday.

She said this latest conviction is further proof Self was, in fact, guilty in the "molestation ring" case.

Self had been twice convicted -- once for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and then for child molestation -- when arrested and convicted along with about two dozen others in eight separate cases involving molestation rings in the 1980s.

Twenty-five of those cases, including Self's, were overturned. Victims came forward and recanted their testimony, saying Kern County sheriff's investigators and social workers coerced them into saying they'd been sexually abused.

Self was paroled in 2000 but kept in a state mental hospital as a sexually violent predator because of his 1976 and 1980 convictions. He was released in 2011 and filed a civil rights lawsuit against the county, receiving a $725,000 settlement in March 2013.

Millions of dollars in settlements were paid to people convicted of, or in some cases, accused of but never charged with molestation. A total of $5.5 million went to defendant John Stoll in 2009, after he'd spent 20 years in prison.

Stoll and Self served the longest terms of all the defendants. Self was imprisoned for 25 years.

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