All three criminal sex cases against Donny Pauling should be tried at the same time, the Sutter County District Attorney's Office argued in court documents.
Pauling, a former pornography producer who said he gave that up and became a pastor, is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in the first and most serious case that alleges he had an ongoing sexual relationship with a minor that began when the girl was 12- or 13-years-old when they lived together in Redding. Each of his two additional cases allege unlawful sex acts against a different minor girl.
Deputy District Attorney Anu Chopra argued in a motion filed Tuesday that evidence in all three cases is "cross admissible," meaning testimony in one case is relevant and could be heard by a jury in another.
If that is found to be true, but the cases are not consolidated, it is possible that three alleged victims would have to testify three times, in three separate trials, in front of three juries.
Sutter County Superior Court Judge Susan E. Green said Wednesday that she did not have enough information to determine whether all three of his cases should be consolidated. She ordered attorneys to return to court to argue the matter, along with other pre-trial motions, on Friday.
Chopra argued the cases should be consolidated in "conservation of judicial resources and public funds."
Green said the issues she must consider are whether evidence in one case would not be admissible in another, whether certain charges in one case are likely to inflame the jury, and whether a "weak" case is combined with a "strong" case.
Green noted one of Pauling's cases is "high profile," a reference to charges that he had sex with a minor girl while former sheriff's Capt. Lewis McElfresh watched and masturbated. That case is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 29.
McElfresh is charged with sex crimes for the incident. Green has been disqualified from hearing that case through a defense motion by Jesse Santana, who has claimed Green holds a bias against him.
The third case against Pauling alleges he provided marijuana to and inappropriately touched another minor girl. That case is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 14.