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POSTED March 16, 2012 8:15 p.m.

EX-MODESTO OFFICER FACING SEX CHARGES: MODESTO  (AP) — A former Modesto police officer is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a woman while on duty.

Lee Freddie Gaines II was arrested on Thursday and booked into Stanislaus County Jail after a brief court appearance.

His arrest followed his indictment by a grand jury on charges including oral copulation by force.

His alleged victim, a 37-year-old woman, works as a massage therapist out of a motel and was contacted for her services on Jan. 5.

She said Gaines showed up about 45 minutes later and threatened to arrest her on suspicion of solicitation. He then allegedly put handcuffs on her and sexually assaulted her.

TEEN SUSPECTED IN BASEBALL BAT KILLING OF KITTENS: HACIENDA HEIGHTS  (AP) — Authorities say a Southern California teenager is suspected in the baseball bat beating deaths of kittens.

Los Angeles County animal control officials say the three kittens were killed in a Hacienda Heights home on March 7.

Investigators say the Glen A. Wilson High School student told a staff member that he killed the kittens with a baseball bat and tossed them into the trash.

DEAD COWS, VIOLATIONS FOUND DAIRY: GUSTINE  (AP) — California water authorities are ordering a Merced County dairy to clean up its property after more than 50 decomposing cow carcasses were found partially buried in manure.

Officials inspecting Rego Dairy say they also found evidence of manure runoff that was leaching into a drainage ditch, as well as dozens of dirty syringes in the ditch.

They say the dairy also had more than the 350 cows it was allowed to have under its permit.

State guidelines say dead livestock must be taken to rendering plants, while water quality rules require that manure lagoons be designed to prevent runoff.

Officials say wastewater at the dairy didn't go through a retention system, a requirement meant to prevent groundwater contamination.

 

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