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November 14, 2003

Deaf Mute Pleads Guilty To Sexual Battery

From: SanDiego, CA - Nov 14, 2003

Judge Orders Bladow To 200 Hours Volunteer Work

SAN DIEGO -- A deaf mute who sexually battered a drunken woman as she slept in an Ocean Beach hostel after a party in February was sentenced Thursday to five years probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

John Bladow, 44, pleaded guilty to sexual battery after initially being charged with rape of an unconscious person.

Defense attorney Jane Gilbert told Judge William Mudd that Bladow -- who has been deaf since birth -- had a "very difficult childhood" and is still learning how "to act appropriately" in public.

The Costa Mesa resident has been working with social workers to improve his behavioral skills, Gilbert said.

"We are hopeful Mr. Bladow will understand what he did was wrong," his attorney told the judge. "The two months he spent in jail had a huge impact on him."

Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly said the 21-year-old victim was "severely affected by what happened to her."

The victim was assaulted after locking herself out of her room and passing out on a couch because she drank too much, the prosecutor said.

"There's nothing she did that was wrong," Daly told the judge.

She said most people who do what the defendant did "go to prison for a long time."

But Mudd said Bladow was a good candidate for probation because he had otherwise led a law-abiding life.

The judge ordered the defendant to do 200 hours of volunteer work for a charitable organization in a year's time.

Copyright 2003 by All rights reserved.