Two of the girls accusing former Principal Robert B. Adams of molestation originally had their claims submitted for prosecution in 2000, but the District Attorney's Office declined to file charges, The Bee has learned.
Sheriff's spokesman Jason Ramos confirmed Thursday that allegations by two students at Adams' Creative Frontiers School in Citrus Heights were the subject of the 2000 investigation.
Those same girls are among seven Adams is now charged with molesting in a case filed Wednesday by Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully.
It is still not clear why charges were not filed 11 years ago, when the allegations first were reported.
Ramos said records show an initial report was taken by a responding officer and that follow-up reports were filed by a detective.
The records also indicate that accounting paperwork from Adams' school and videotaped interviews were booked into evidence as part of the probe.
Scully's office issued a written statement in response to queries from The Bee saying the current case is much stronger than the 2000 investigation presented to her office.
"It is difficult for us to reconstruct the evaluation that was done 11 years ago on a case that was not filed," the statement read. "However, we can say that the totality of the evidence available to us today is significantly different from what was available in 2000."
The earlier case was handled by a veteran child abuse detective and sent to the district attorney on July 28, 2000, for a review of whether charges should be filed, Ramos said.
The detective, now retired, said he had been called about the case by Sacramento sheriff's officials this week but could not recall the matter.
"Frankly, I did not remember it," said David Flaa, who retired in 2001 after more than 20 years on the force, including time investigating child abuse in Citrus Heights. "I handled hundreds of cases.
"What (the Sheriff's Department) told me was that it had been submitted to the DA and they declined prosecution."
The sheriff's office said it was searching to see if the original file still exists and whether it contains a letter from the district attorney declining to prosecute the case.
The two students reported in 2000 that they had been molested by Adams two years earlier while attending Creative Frontiers, according to the case filed Wednesday.
The new case accuses Adams of molesting seven students, all girls, over a 15-year period while he was principal and owner of the private K-6 school on Sylvan Road.
Adams has denied wrongdoing, and when detectives showed up at his Folsom home Wednesday to arrest him he complained of chest pains and was taken to Mercy San Juan Medical Center.
Adams was released Thursday evening and booked into Sacramento County jail on one misdemeanor and six felony counts of child molestation. He is scheduled for arraignment this morning in Sacramento Superior Court.
Adams' school was closed in July as authorities looked into the allegations. In addition to the two girls in the 2000 investigation, at least one other girl in the new case had filed an earlier complaint that resulted in a police report.
That case was reported in 2006, when a student told her school counselor that Adams had molested her in 1996 or 1997 when she was about 6 years old, court records state. There is no indication of what happened to that case.
The disclosure that Adams had been investigated at least twice before came as his legal woes deepened.
On Thursday, a lawyer for the family of one Creative Frontiers student who says she was molested announced a civil suit against the school and Adams.
That lawsuit, filed under the name of "Jane Doe," claims that in the last year Adams took her "for walks to a creek on Frontiers campus and massaged" her.
The school itself remained closed Thursday. Adams previously has told city officials that he sold it to a man engaged to one of his daughters.
City officials are now working with the school to see if code violations and other issues can be resolved to allow it to reopen.