Bradley Stewart Wagner--the prize embarrassment of the Anaheim Police Department for using his badge to violently sexually assault three women he believed were illegal immigrants near Disneyland--is baaaaaaack.
Well, to be precise, Wagner--who was sentenced to a 4-year prison term in December--actually never left.
That's right, folks. The dirty 34-year veteran cop who managed to repeatedly delay justice for five whopping years has also managed to do what other criminals just can't easily pull off: He's avoided the bus trip to a California prison even though a judge sentenced him to that fate on Dec. 16 or, for illustrative purposes, more than 2,472 hours ago.
Wagner's stint in the local jail reduces the amount of time he has to spend in the state slammer.
Officials interviewed by the Weekly haven't been able to explain on the record why Wagner seems to have received a special favor. Indeed, his official criminal file doesn't explain why a judge's order was not executed. But, yet, as of today, the Orange County Jail continues to list him as "in custody" there.
Since his December sentencing, however, Wagner and his wife have filed a flurry of complaints that don't seem to recognize that an official punishment was rendered by Judge Walter Schwarm. The judge approved a sentence that was not just relatively generous--it could have been more than double--but exchanged that generosity for a guilty plea from the cop. Worried that he'll be abused by other prison inmates, Wagner also asked for and got "protective custody" status.
But now the 63-year-old cop--who'll get a generous public pension--claims he's completely innocent, his victims are liars, the police investigators on his case were cheaters and his original defense team of Jennifer Keller and Kay Rackauckas, two legal heavyweights, were grossly incompetent and underhanded.
If only a different judge would release him on bail, he says, he could prove he's actually innocent now by "dispelling each and every contention from each and every victim," one of whom had teeth knocked out when he forced her to orally copulate him or face deportation while he was on night duty.
Deana Wagner also weighed in, claiming that her husband is "extremely ill, dizzy and fainting" in the Orange County Jail, a condition she fears will only worsen if he serves his prison sentence. She described him as "unstable" and said for the sake of the couple's children that he "be allowed to stabilize prior to any transfer" to prison.
Farah F. Azar, Wagner's Irvine defense attorney, claimed in another brief that if Wagner is shipped to prison he'll endure "severe and irreversible damage" because of various medical conditions, excuses that Schwarm already considered and dismissed in December.
Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez, who handled the case, told me that Wagner had managed to block his transfer by "filing motion after motion after motion in hopes of avoiding the consequences he faces."
The madness may have ended on Friday, when Judge Richard M. King denied all the post-sentencing defense motions. Whether this means that the convicted cop will finally go to prison for his disgusting crimes is unclear. I guess we will have to wait and see.
"There is no reason Mr. Wagner should not be in state prison within a couple of weeks," said Fernandez.
UPDATE: After this story was published, Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, informed me that Wagner is now scheduled to leave the jail for prison on April 6.
to see previous coverage of Wagner's antics.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly