Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: What happened to court referee accused of soliciting underage girls for nude photos?

Q: What happened to the juvenile court referee who was arrested for posing as a magazine photographer and telling young girls he was looking for models to photograph for his modeling business?

Jules, Carmichael

A: Daniel Madden Horton, a Sacramento Juvenile Dependency Court referee, was arrested by Sacramento police in February 2012 after he allegedly tried to get two police decoys he thought were underage girls to strip for an adult magazine.

According to Sacramento Superior Court records available online, Horton pleaded to a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child younger than 18. He was sentenced in June 2012 to 90 days in a sheriff’s work project and three years of informal probation.

In November 2015, the plea was withdrawn and the court dismissed the charge under a provision of the penal code that allows people to have convictions dismissed or expunged after serving their sentence and fulfilling terms of their probation.

Online records of the State Bar of California show that Horton was disbarred in May 2014 and is ineligible to practice law in California.

According to a story in The Sacramento Bee, police began investigating Horton in November 2011 after they were contacted by a female who worked at a tanning salon. She said Horton had approached her in December 2010 and told her she could make $600 for nude photo shoots.

The girl told Horton she was only 17, agreed to model a bathing suit for him and consented to expose her breasts to him. When she declined his request to remove her bathing suit bottom, she said he pulled it down himself, according to the case summary.

During the police decoy operation, two women identified in the case summary as Ashley Doe and Amber Doe were approached by Horton. They told him they were 17 years old, although one was 18 and the other, 20. Horton approached Amber Doe outside the La Riviera Family Pizza Parlor and asked if she was interested in having nude photos taken of her.

When she said she was not, Horton left her alone.

Later that day, at the corner of Folsom Boulevard and Bradshaw Road, Horton pulled his car over and made a similar offer to Ashley Doe, who had been standing on the street and told Horton she was waiting for a friend. When she expressed interest, he gave her his phone number, according to police.

While the police surveillance team watched him, Horton drove around the area and contacted two Rancho Cordova police officers, told them he worked in Juvenile Court and informed them that a prostitute was working in the area and that someone had been contacting her and asking if she would be willing to have nude pictures taken of her for $600.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy