Clews’ sentencing date postponed

Sentencing for Carmel Valley horse ranch owner Christian Clews on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego.The sentencing hearing had been scheduled for Feb. 1, but Clews requested the continuance because his attorney, Jennifer Wirsching, will be in Texas on that date for sentencing in another case.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw will sentence Clews on the two counts, to which Clews pleaded guilty in July. Clews faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison on the charges. However, he could receive less time in prison under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Sabraw also denied a motion by Clews to receive unredacted statements from witnesses who allege that he sexually abused or exploited them when they were minors. Prosecutors blacked out the names and contact information of the witnesses, who are now adult women, due to the sexual nature of the allegations and the witnesses’ fear of retribution by the defendant or others. Clews’ attorneys argued, unsuccessfully, that they needed the names and contact information to properly defend their client

Prosecutors plan to introduce the witness statements at the sentencing hearing in an effort to enhance Clews’ sentence.