East County man pleads guilty to molesting underage girl

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EL CAJON, Calif. — An East County man who admitted molesting an underage girl faces up to 10 years in state prison when he’s sentenced March 27, prosecutors said.

Shaun Crocker, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday at the El Cajon courthouse to two felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child for touching the unidentified victim, who was under the age of 14, inappropriately between September and November 2018.

Prosecutors did not disclose the girl’s exact age, nor would they confirm whether the defendant was related to sex offender Matthew Hedge, whose case drew headlines years after his conviction due to a judge’s controversial decision to lift Hedge’s sexually violent predator status and release him from custody without supervision.

Hedge pleaded guilty in 1989 to molesting four children in the San Diego area and served 12 years in prison. He was committed to the sexually violent predator treatment program in 1997, but was released into outpatient treatment in 2005 in a trailer outside Donovan State Prison in Otay Mesa.

His outpatient status was revoked within six weeks for violating terms of his release.

After more than two years of in-patient hospital treatment, the court in October 2008 again granted Hedge’s petition to be placed in outpatient treatment. In 2012, he was released without supervision after San Diego Superior Court Judge David Gill determined he no longer posed a danger to others and was unlikely to re-offend.

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