The case against former city code enforcement officer Matthew Maldonado has been continued until April 14 for a pre-trial conference hearing.
According to court records, Maldonado appeared in court Feb. 15, but did not enter a plea. He was originally scheduled to appear Feb. 9, but that was postponed to Feb. 15. He is being represented by attorney Kyle Humphrey. Humphrey has been in private practice for over 10 years after serving several years in the Prosecutor’s Office.
Maldonado is accused of five counts of annoying/child molestation, stemming from reports that he touched minor girls inappropriately during wrestling practices that were captured on film at the home of Eli Espericueta.
Maldonado told police that he did practice with the girls, but denies touching them inappropriately. He also was investigated in 2017 by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Wasco Substation, but no charges were ever filed in that incident.
Maldonado said he was an assistant coach for Shafter High, as well as helping with several wrestling clubs and camps through the years. Officials from Shafter High School told the Shafter Press he was never a coach for their teams.