• Tom Pollacci To Stand Trial

    Judge Russell Scott has ordered Thomas Ronald Pollacci to stand trial in Monterey County Superior Court on charges of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person and sex with a person incapable of giving consent. On March 3 of this year, a warrant was issued for Pollacci, who turned himself in to Seaside police. He was released on $300,000 bail.

    The preliminary hearing took place on the afternoon of July 10, eight days after Pollacci’s 50th birthday. Prosecutor Christina Johnson brought testimony from investigators and officers who served with the Pacific Grove Police Department at the time of the incident, which began to unfold in the early morning hours of April 21, 2008.

    On that day, a woman identified as Jane Doe #1 was left at Community Hospital unconscious and suffering a serious head injury. Bleeding from her ear, she was placed in intensive care with swelling of the brain. Video surveillance identified Pollacci as the man who brought her in. A sexual assault exam showed there had been intercourse and found Pollacci’s DNA present.

    According to testimony, the woman had been Pollacci’s neighbor in Pebble Beach, moved away, and was back in town visiting a friend. She visited Pollacci at Ron’s Liquors, his father’s store in Pacific Grove where Tom Pollacci worked. On the night of Sunday, April 20, she went upstairs above the store with him and spent time in a loft area that was described as a “bachelor pad.” She remembered drinking some wine. What transpired next is unclear. The woman awoke in the hospital with no recollection of having had sex with Pollacci.

    Forensic examination of the liquor store found traces of blood at the bottom of the stairs leading to the loft. Suspicion was elevated when a bed that the victim described up in the loft could not be found.

    At the hearing, retired PGPD commander Tom Uretsky, who led the initial investigation, gave testimony that chronicled three interviews with Jane Doe #1. Jaime Bryant, the PG officer who first responded to the hospital’s call, also took the stand. Bryant testified that the woman also had a shoulder injury, cuts on two of her fingers and a blown eardrum.

    Two other investigators took the stand and related information from interviews with other women who had contacted the D.A.’s office in the past three months. Previous incidents of alleged sexual assault by Pollacci were cited from women named as Jane Doe #2, #4, #5 and #6.

    Pollacci is represented by Andrew Liu, a former New York sex crimes prosecutor who is now with the Worthington Law Centre in Salinas. Liu expressed concern that media coverage of the developing story may have influenced the jury pool in Monterey County. “This case has been well-reported,” Liu said. He focused on inconsistencies in the accounts given by Jane Doe #1 and asked to have the case dismissed. He also argued vigorously against entering details of the alleged prior incidents into the record, but the judge allowed it.

    Johnson pointed out the victim had suffered severe head trauma and therefore could not be expected to have all the facts straight. She insisted the physical evidence and Pollacci’s history warranted a trial. Pollacci pleaded guilty to sexual battery in 1992 and is a registered sex offender.

    After three hours of proceedings, the judge stated the physical evidence combined with the defendant’s actions surrounding the incident showed “reasonable and probable cause that offenses were committed.” In this case, all three offenses would pertain to one crime. Pollacci’s arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 31. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

    Editor’s note: Details of the alleged prior incidents which were described at the hearing have been omitted from this report.

     

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 18, 2009

    Topics: Cameron Douglas, Current Edition, Front PG News

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