On a chilly December day when Bob Adams normally might be thinking about a holiday pageant at his family's school, he found himself walking into court again to deal with charges that he is a child molester.
Adams, the 60-year-old former principal who operated the private Creative Frontiers School in Citrus Heights for nearly three decades, was making his fifth appearance in Sacramento Superior Court Tuesday since being charged in September, and the routine is now a familiar one.
He files in with his veteran defense attorney, Linda Parisi, stands for a moment and then listens as the case is put off for a few more weeks.
This time, with dozens of his supporters filling the courtroom inside the Sacramento County jail building, the matter was postponed until Feb. 24.
Parisi said afterward that she believes some progress is finally being made. She said she has received most of the evidence gathered by investigators, who shut the school down in July amid claims that Adams had abused students on the campus over a period of several years.
Adams has denied the allegations, and Parisi said after the latest brief court session that she still needs to evaluate the evidence that has been turned over.
"I just need to check and make sure we've got it all, and then I need some time to go through it and kind of put it together," she said.
So far, she said, there is no way to tell whether or when the matter will go to trial, although she added there have been no discussions with prosecutors about any kind of deal.
"It certainly appears to me from the discovery I've read that there's a lot of questions, and I want to have an opportunity to talk to the district attorney about that and we'll see where the case is."
Adams faces six felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and one misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child under 18.
Court documents indicate Adams was first investigated in connection with molestation allegations in 2000, but it was not until September that charges were filed accusing him of molesting girls as young as 6 or 7 in alleged incidents dating back to 1996.
Adams supporters have denounced the charges as fantasy and compared the case to others in which alleged victims recanted or prosecutors were found to have overreached.
As he was escorted away Tuesday by his family and supporters, Parisi acknowledged the devastating impact the allegations have had on Adams, who has put the Citrus Heights school property up for sale and who faces civil suits and small-claims suits from parents who say they still are owed tuition refunds.
"It is a heartbreak to the family, it truly is," she said. "This is a school that has been in their family for 30-plus years.
"Given the circumstances and the posture of the city in terms of licensing and whatnot, it really looks like it would be very difficult for them to reopen. And so that's why it is really with a heavy heart that they've had to consider that they may have to sell the school."
Parisi continues to insist that parents who are owed a refund of tuition from the sudden shutdown of the school will be paid. "They really do want to honor their obligations," she said.
But she added that the toll on Adams since his arrest and subsequent release on bail has been "very difficult."
"It's very hard to have your life be one way one day and really just in a matter of hours your entire life as you know it is completely upended."