BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The preliminary hearing for a former Kern County sheriff’s deputy charged with sexual battery and other crimes was postponed Wednesday to next month.
Michael Clark, who was a deputy at the time of the alleged crimes but is no longer with the Sheriff’s Office, is now due in court Feb. 25 for a preliminary hearing — where a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order him to stand trial.
The alleged sexual battery occurred Aug. 24 after Clark offered a ride in his patrol vehicle to a woman who was walking home from work, investigators said. He was on duty at the time and in uniform.
According to court documents, Clark began making inappropriate comments to the woman from the moment she got in the car. Noticing she was on Snapchat, he asked her to add him as a friend so they could “sext,” the documents say.
The woman told investigators Clark forced himself on her, kissing and groping her. She said he unbuttoned his pants and exposed himself, and asked her to perform sex acts on him. She refused.
She told detectives she kept telling Clark she would call him later in the hope that he would allow her to get out of the car. He eventually let her leave.
After the incident, Clark kept showing up at her workplace, the woman told investigators. She said she would hide in the break room until he left.
In a pretext conversation set up by investigators, Clark admitted touching the woman against her will, the documents said.