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Portland wants local lawyer to stop pedophile

Posted: March 15, 2008 1:00 a.m.
Updated: May 16, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
The local lawyer who led the fight to keep a self-proclaimed pedophile out of Santa Clarita is now being called on by police and parents in Portland, Ore., to help them do the same thing there.

Tony Zinnanti made headlines last summer when his injunction to keep Jack McClellan out of Santa Clarita Valley was widened by a Superior Court judge to protect all the children in California.

The law prohibits McLellan from being within 10 yards of any child. On Labor Day weekend, McLellan got into his car which also serves as his home and drove up the coast to Portland, where he now lives.

Now, people concerned about McLellan being near children are asking Zinnanti to help them.

"I'm all for doling out another ass-beating," Zinnanti told The Signal Friday. "I will help them, and I have helped them.

"I gave them all the information about the pleadings," he said, referring to documents filed in preparing his injunction against McLellan in court. "I get people there calling me for help every 10 days on average."

Most recently, security officers at a Portland bookstore reached out to Zinnanti after they allegedly restrained McLellan and threw him out of the store after he tried repeatedly to enter the store's children's section.

In a copy of a letter submitted to lawyers representing McLellan, a copy of which has been obtained by The Signal, Zinnanti detailed the incident that allegedly occurred inside Powell's Books, concluding:
"Your client exhibits a complete lack of control. He has no regard for the law."

Phone messages left with McLellan's lawyer, Richard M. Procida, were not returned. Nor were phone messages left with security officers at Powell's Books.

According to the Procida letter, McLellan wants Zinnanti to drop the California restraining order.
Zinnanti, however, is suggesting a compromise in exchange for "full disclosure" relating to McLellan and his supporters.

"The offer is to have the extended (restraining) order modified to include only the 38th state district which is Santa Clarita Valley and the north San Fernando Valley," Zinnanti explained, as opposed to its present statewide scope.

Zinnanti said he's confident he can reach a settlement in the end but is not expecting McLellan to "disclose anything."

He tried doing nothing and nothing happened, so now Zinnanti is ready to resume the fight.

"My business has bounced back," he said. "I've survived this whole deal and now I am seething to kick ass."

The six-month fight to keep McLellan away from children and off the Internet advising pedophiles about where to find unattended girls in public areas, took a heavy toll on Zinnanti when pedophiles began fighting back.

Operators of Web sites devoted to promoting child models and sympathetic to McLellan began targeting Zinnanti and Ron Tebo, a New York Web designer who also devoted time and money warning the public about McLellan.

Both men, Zinnanti and Tebo, had the images of their respective children posted online next to sexually explicit text.

Threats and harassing phone calls to both men at home made it clear to them that pedophiles - although unseen - were certainly not going to remain unheard.

By year end, Zinnanti had lost his business, moved out of his law office on Valencia Boulevard and suffered a significant drop in revenue.

Now, he's back and ready to fight.

"I'm compiling my experiences in the form of a book," he said. "Would I do it all again? Absolutely, I would do it again for the community. I will not turn my back on this problem. I am not intimidated.

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