Crime - Sacto 911

Woodland child molester to spend at least three more years in prison

A man sentenced to prison for child molestation in Yolo County in 1997 will remain in state prison for at least three more years.

Michael Ward was scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before the state Board of Parole Hearings at the California Healthcare Facility in Stockton. But before the start of the hearing, Ward signed a hearing waiver, agreeing to remain in prison and delay his next hearing for three years, according to a Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release. This is the fourth time that Ward has not been granted a parole date, officials said.

A Yolo County jury convicted Ward of child molestation involving two young girls in Woodland in 1996. Authorities said Ward sent pornographic Polaroid photographs through the mail to an undercover Utah special agent. A search warrant was obtained and other evidence was found linking Ward to two young girls whom he had photographed and molested. Ward has admitted molesting numerous other young children in Woodland and more than 100 youngsters in his lifetime, authorities said.

A Yolo County judge in October 1997 sentenced Ward to 15 years to life in prison for lewd or lascivious acts upon a child younger than 14 with more than one victim.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Christopher Bulkeley, who prosecuted the case in 1996, appeared for the hearing Tuesday, prepared to argue against Ward’s release based upon his prior record, his lack of any insight into his criminal behavior, his lack of parole plans and his continuing danger to the public, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy