Clews sentencing rescheduled

Sentencing for Carmel Valley horse ranch owner Christian Clews on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography has been rescheduled for Feb. 1, before U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw.

Under the terms of a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution, submitted when Clews pleaded guilty to the charges in July, the two sides will recommend a sentence of 34 years in prison. However, prosecutors have said they will seek to add five years to the sentence due to an alleged pattern of activity by Clews in which he sexually abused or exploited a minor.

Sentencing had been set for Jan. 18, but was rescheduled for Feb.1 at a hearing held on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Also at Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Sabraw tentatively denied a motion by Clews’ attorney, seeking unredacted statements by women who alleged that Clews sexually abused them when they were minors.

The prosecution responded that it had redacted the names and contact information for the women due to the sexual nature of the allegations, the young ages of the women at the time of the alleged improper conduct and a fear of retribution by the defendant due to the witnesses’ statements to law enforcement.