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La Grange Man Booked In Sexual Misconduct Case
A two-month investigation by Escalon Police has culminated with the arrest of a La Grange man on sexual misconduct charges.

On Wednesday, April 28 at about 2:30 p.m., Escalon Police Officers executed a search warrant at 30101 Yosemite Boulevard in La Grange. The search warrant was a result of an extensive investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Beginning in February of 2010, a female minor living in the City of Escalon began receiving cellular telephone calls from a male adult. The calls, according to police, were sexually explicit in nature. These calls continued although the involved male was advised that the female he was speaking with was only 15 years old. During this two-month period, the caller attempted to arrange multiple meetings with the female minor for the purpose of having sexual relations. The male suspect sent a photograph of himself and of his genitalia to the victim through a cell phone. He also provided the victim with limited background information regarding his identity over an extended period of time.

The lead officer on the case, Robert Hardgraves, began an intensive investigation and established the identity of the suspect to be John William Birdsong, of La Grange. Birdsong, 58, had been a person of interest of other police agencies in both San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties for similar acts.

Hardgraves drafted multiple search warrants during his investigation, and evidence linking Birdsong to the case was uncovered.

On Wednesday, members of the Escalon Police Department and Escalon Police Reserve arrested Birdsong at his La Grange home. He was subsequently booked at the San Joaquin County Jail on the following felony charges involving sexual misconduct with a minor:

288.2(a) P.C. - Harmful matter sent to a minor with the intent of seduction of minor (one count, felony)

288.3(a) P.C. - Contact of minor with intent to commit a sexual offense (two counts, felony)

288.4(a) P.C. - Attempts to arrange a meeting with a minor for the purpose of committing a sexual offense. (two counts, misdemeanor)

Bail was set at $100,000.