LOS ANGELES – Former Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald C. Kline collapsed in court today when U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall indicated she would sentence him to 27 months in federal prison on charges of possessing child pornography.
Kline, who lost his job in 2002, became wobbly-legged as he stood at a podium, then fell backward into defense attorney Paul Meyer's arms. He was placed on a bench and paramedics were summoned.
Kline, 66, was accused of possessing child pornography.
Today's hearing ended nearly six years of legal wrangling that saw Kline charged at one point in both state and federal courts.
But the state case was later dismissed because it was beyond the statute of limitations.
The federal prosecution was threatened in 2003 when a judge at one point suppressed most of the evidence. But that evidence was reinstated and the prosecution was allowed to continue.
In December 2005, Kline stifled tears when he pleaded guilty to four counts of child pornography for images found on his computer in his Irvine home. Kline admitted that he stored more than 100 sexually explicit photos of young boys on the computer and on several discs.
His collection was discovered when a Canadian computer whiz hacked into his computer and downloaded the images and a lurid diary detailing Kline's fascination with young boys.