TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS13) — A former coordinator and coach at Mother Lode Christian School in Tuolumne County has been charged with 13 counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child 14 or 15-years-old.
Mona McGrady, 61, turned herself in to officials at the county jail for charges dating back over 20 years, raising questions as to why the district attorney decided to file charges now and who is protected under the statute of limitations.
Sacramento defense attorney Noah Phillips says the most of the time, the statute of limitations is one, three or six years.
“As long as the case is filed within a year of the reporting, it involves substantive sexual conduct, and their corroboration of the crime, the DA can file it,” said Phillips.
The alleged abuse took place between 1995-97. The six-month investigation was launched into McGrady after a former student filed a complaint. Investigators are also talking with another person who filed a report.
McGrady resigned from the school nearly 20 years ago.
“The statute of limitations is designed to protect all of us,” Phillip said. “But when the case involves serious sexual misconduct and sexual abuse, particularly with children, I think it’s fair to say that that’s fair game.”
Phillips spent 20 years working in the Sacramento DA’s office and says the “Me Too” movement is bringing people forward. Much like how cold cases are investigated, departments will be growing to investigate cases of sexual abuse.
“What we’re seeing with the ‘Me Too’ movement is a lot more people are feeling comfortable about coming forward about prior incidents of sexual misconduct,” said Phillips. “I can envision a scenario where a lot of these cases are investigated.”
Phillips said a DA’s office wouldn’t take a case unless they felt they had solid evidence and corroboration, which is required by law.
“If you’re going to take this case to 12 jurors, they are going to expect some relatively good piece of corroboration to the victim’s testimony,” he said.
McGrady’s bail was set at $100,000. Anyone with information related to the case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s office.