Gloria Allred holds a news conference outside Central Courthouse in San Bernardino. Allred has been retained to represent the 16-year-old Explorer in the Nathan Gastineau case. (Al Cuizon/Staff Photographer)

Girl’s family hires famous attorney
Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/21/2011 06:20:34 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The Central Courthouse was buzzing Tuesday morning.

“Is that Gloria Allred?” many people asked.

The answer was yes.

Allred, who has famously represented clients all over the country in a wide range of discrimination and victims’ rights cases, was in the San Bernardino courthouse to represent a 16-year-old girl who authorities allege was a victim of sexual abuse by former sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Gastineau.

“My client wishes to maintain her privacy,” Allred said of the former police Explorer.

And Allred says protecting the girl’s privacy is the reason the girl’s parents contacted her and asked her to get involved in the case.

Allred said she wants to make sure the girl’s rights are protected and respected.

But the girl appeared in front of a bank of news cameras at an Allred news conference on the courthouse steps.

Allred asked that reporters refrain from revealing the names of the girl or her parents.

“I’m comfortable with what my client is comfortable with,” she said.

And the girl shouldn’t be afraid to be seen, Allred said at the conference.

She contended that the girl is the victim in the case and has nothing to be ashamed of.

The girl also has the right to understand the court proceedings, Allred said.

“It’s understandable that a young person is going to have a lot of trepidation as to what happens next,” she said.

Allred was in New York last week, holding a news conference with Ginger Lee, a former porn actress who claims Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., sent her sexual text messages.

Allred typically specializes in high-profile lawsuits. When asked Tuesday if she would sue the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – or any other organization – in the Explorer sex case, Allred declined to comment.

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