Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

Klamath landlord accused of young girl's sexual abuse

A jury trial for a Klamath landlord facing three charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 began Wednesday.

Fred R. Stockett, 61, is also charged with dissuading a witness.

Mendocino Judge William Lamb, who is presiding over the trial, told prospective jurors the proceedings could last a month. Jury selection took six days - a lot longer than usual in Del Norte.

The alleged victim, a teenage girl, testified Wednesday after opening statements from Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Padilla and defense attorney Russel Clanton.

Former Yurok Tribal Police Sgt. Heather Landreneaux testified at a preliminary hearing that Stockett forcibly molested a 10-year-old girl who had been spending the weekend at his home in the summer of 2010. Stockett threatened to injure the girl's family if she told anyone what happened, Landreneaux testified.

Clanton told the Triplicate after the preliminary hearing the allegations were "opportunistic" as the young girl's mother was a defendant in a small claims lawsuit filed by Stockett after she was evicted.

Landreneaux is scheduled totestify today.

Stockett also faces charges of grand theft, elder abuse and an enhancement for committing a felony while on bail in an unrelated case for allegedly not providing adequate tap water or garbage collection services to his paying tenants. That case is trailing the trial.

Stockett is a well-known landlord in the Klamath area. He owns 54 parcels of land and a majority of them are trailer spaces, according to records at the Del Norte County Assessor's Office.

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