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Lawyers seek injunction against pedophile

Posted: July 17, 2008 1:18 a.m.
Updated: July 17, 2008 5:01 a.m.
 
Parents concerned about self-proclaimed pedophile Jack McClellan returning to Santa Clarita can join lawyers in court Friday when they ask a federal judge for an injunction against the man.

Area lawyers Anthony D. Zinnanti and Richard Patterson filed a restraining order against McClellan on Tuesday in a bid to bar him from places in Santa Clarita where children gather and stop him from taking photographs of them.

The Los Angeles Superior Court in Chatsworth granted them permission to file their injunction on behalf of the children in Santa Clarita. The first court date in the matter is scheduled for Friday morning.

"We want some parents to come to Chatsworth and demonstrate that this is a matter of great importance to us," Patterson said. "Hopefully, we'll get a lot of parents down there. It would be beneficial to have the courtroom packed with parents."

The two lawyers decided to file the injunction on behalf of Santa Clarita children after reading reports in The Signal that McClellan planned to return to this valley with the intent of watching little girls at family events in public settings.

McClellan, 45, who has repeatedly identified himself as a pedophile but has not been charged with a crime, came to Santa Clarita on June 9 to watch young girls at a bowling alley and at the San Fernando Valley Fair. On Monday, he told The Signal that he likes to watch pre-pubescent girls at such events and plans to return to Santa Clarita when the weather cools.

"The community needs to show its support," Zinnanti said. "I want a show of force in court that says 'Not in our valley. Not in our valley.'"

Late Tuesday afternoon, after the court approved their motion, Zinnanti and J. Cody Patterson, of the law firm Owen, Patterson & Owen, tried to intercept McClellan at the NBC studios where he was expected to appear on the Dan Abrams show.

"They tried to serve him notice of the injunction," Richard Patterson said. "But, security there were feigning cooperation. They asked what gate he would be exiting from but (security) changed the gate and so they (Zinnanti and Patterson) hustled around to the other gate. So, they didn't get him served."

Media representatives for NBC told The Signal they would look into the allegations and find the right person to respond to them. They did not respond by early Wednesday evening.

Having failed to serve McClellan in person is a moot point, the lawyers added, since widespread media reports of the injunction against him and a phone message left on his cell phone suffice.

McClellan, who lives in his car in Santa Monica, told The Signal on Monday that he likes watching little girls at family events and plans to use money he receives in disability checks to launch a new Web site that would display candid photographs of young girls.

Ron Tebo, who runs what he calls an "anti-Jack" Web site diverting pedophile interest away from McClellan, called the injunction an indication of zero tolerance.

"If Jack has not abused a child and if he seeks help then I see some place for him in the community," Tebo said on the phone Wednesday. "But, if he continues to show up at sites where there are little girls and continues to photograph them and then put those photos on the Internet, then jailhouse justice is the only justice for Jack."

Tebo says he has been inundated with letters and e-mails in response to his Web site warning parents to be vigilant about protecting the privacy and safety of their children.

"The fight has inspired many people to come forward about their own cases of abuse," he said. "They thank me for the Web site." McClellan could not be reached Wednesday for his response to news of the injunction.

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