Judge imposes gag order in Vallejo kidnapping case

VALLEJO, Calif. - A Solano County judge has imposed a gag order on lawyers and law enforcement officials involved in the recent case of an 8-year-old girl who was kidnapped on her way home from school and escaped after two days.

Judge Allan Carter said Thursday that ''an avalanche'' of publicity threatened defendant Curtis Dean Anderson's right to a fair trial.

The order, which was contested by lawyers from four Northern California newspapers, prohibits discussion of the case with the media.

''There is a clear and present danger that the parties ... particularly the defense, may be prevented from receiving a fair trial unless the avalanche of pretrial publicity is controlled by this court,'' Carter said.

Anderson has been charged with kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old Vallejo girl.

Lawyers representing the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the Sacramento Bee and the San Jose Mercury News objected to the gag order.

The judge said lawyers could argue the merits of the order at Anderson's next hearing, on Sept. 7.


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