The daughter of Santa Maria businessman Hans Kardel, who was convicted of molesting his granddaughter, demanded speedy justice Thursday as sentencing was continued for the third time while Kardel seeks a new trial.
In March, Kardel, 84, was convicted of 13 felony counts of sexually abusing his eldest granddaughter Jane Doe 2, now 18, when she was between the ages of 8 and 16. The jury however couldn't return a verdict on the second alleged victim, Doe 2's younger sister, Jane Doe 1.
When given the chance to speak Thursday morning, Kardel's daughter (and the mother of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2) spoke against the postponement, stating that she and her family had to deal with "this horrible situation" for the last three years.
Citing Marsy's Law, Kardel's daughter reminded the court that victims have not only a right to a speedy trial but, also, a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings.
"It doesn't seem as though that right has been enforced for my kids," she said. "My children and I want to make victim impact statements before his sentencing. This has been a real nightmare for us, and I want the court to know how horrible my children's lives have been for them."
While acknowledging the victim's family's frustrations with the continuance, Judge John McGregor reminded Doe's mother that it only will be continued two weeks for the court to address motions and review trial testimony.
Kardel's next court date is set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24.
In late June, Kardel's new attorney Ben Coleman filed a motion for a new trial and acquittal for his 13 counts, stating that in order for the prosecution to sustain convictions on multiple counts related to Doe 2, the prosecution had to prove that she was under the age of 15 at the time of the alleged offenses.
"Doe 2's uncertain testimony [as to her age at the time] didn't establish proof beyond reasonable doubt," and the prosecution failed to prove her age element as to those counts, Coleman's motion read.
In fact, when questioned on stand, Doe 2 couldn't remember if the abuse began before she was in fifth grade and if it continued when she reached the age of 16.
"Given the uncertain testimony, the court should enter judgments of acquittal on those counts," Coleman added.
The motion further sought to have the court set bail for Kardel pending his next court date, as he had no criminal record, lived in Santa Maria for decades and owned an insurance business in town, as well as having served in the Army in 1957 and in the Army Reserve for several years.
"[Kardel] surrendered himself to authorities [during the arrest] and was released on bond," Coleman said, adding that Kardel suffered from several medical issues while in custody at the County Jail, which will only worsen if he doesn't receive treatment.