Attorney for alleged victim questions law enforcement tactics fo - Tucson News Now

Attorney for alleged victim questions law enforcement tactics following accusations against judge

(Source: Pinal County Superior Court) (Source: Pinal County Superior Court)
PINAL COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Pinal County judge is under investigation following accusations that he molested a girl from her teens into her 20s. Judge Steven Fuller has not been arrested or charged and his attorney denies any wrongdoing.

[RELATED: AP: Arizona judge investigated over sex abuse claim]

The victim said the abuse was on a weekly basis for years. Her mom was told about the allegations at the time, but said making those claims can ruin others' lives.

According to the police report, the alleged victim purported prior abuse at the hands of Fuller to a church bishop and asked for help in reporting to police. Since then, the case has been in the hands of Mesa Police and the Pima County Sheriff's Office.

"I have questions as to why this victim was moved around from law enforcement agency to law enforcement agency," said the alleged victim's attorney, Matt Long. "Why shuffled around to continue the trauma."

"All the alleged acts that were disclosed were within their jurisdiction," said Det. Nik Rasheta with the Mesa Police Department, as to why they wanted to transfer the case to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

"We currently have an open investigation. The case was initially taken by Mesa PD. They wanted to forward it to Pinal County SO, however, they believed there may be a conflict of interest so it was requested we take over the investigation. It is still open and therefore I cannot release any details," said deputy Cody Gress with the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Long said he believes a subsequent confrontation call was then mishandled.

"It doesn't appear the detective reviewed all of the information he could have from the Mesa Police Department, prior to making that phone call," Long said.

Fuller has been reassigned to a civil assignment at Pinal County Superior Court. According to Pinal County Superior Court, it was Fuller who alerted the presiding judge to the investigation.

"I think the investigating agency has an obligation to inform whomever might supervise that individual, whether it be a coach, a teacher or a judge," Long said.

"They're malicious, made in an untimely manner to harm his career, his impending marriage, and his reelection," said Fuller's attorney, Dennis Wilenchik. He said there is no evidence to the claims.

"Once, hopefully, they look at it, determine they can't obtain a conviction and drop this nightmare, then we will consider action and others who were involved in this," Wilenchik said.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct sent us a statement saying:

I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a complaint with the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct at this time.  I do understand that there is a law enforcement investigation underway at this time.

Fuller was supposed to participate in a mock trial event in Florence Friday, involving students from Pinal and Gila counties. A spokesperson for the event tells us he will no longer be participating.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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