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Laura Austin Photo / Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, 2nd District, during the 2023 Republican Lincoln Dinner in Bakersfield.

Kern Supervisor Zack Scrivner investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting his child

By Patricia Farris News Review Publisher–
On Thursday morning, April 25, The New Review received a press release stating that Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood would be holding a press conference regarding Zack Scrivner at 3:00 p.m. April 25, 2024, at Sheriff’s Headquarters in the Auditorium. Then, shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Sheriff Youngblood received a call from District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer saying that her nephew, Zack Scrivner, was having a psychotic episode at his house.

“She called me – it seems like it was about 11 o’clock – and was pretty emotional, pretty worried,” Youngblood said. “And I took the call, immediately called the comms center, and got deputies en route. We were responding to what we believed at the time was a suicidal person having a psychotic episode, not any crime.”

Zimmer told Youngblood that Scrivner was armed with a gun and later called him to say Scrivner had been disarmed.

Deputies secured the firearm on the scene and started the investigation, learning that Scrivner had a physical altercation with his children.

Youngblood confirmed that one of Scrivner’s sons stabbed him twice in the upper torso.

“The physical altercation occurred over allegations Zack had sexually assaulted one of his children,” Youngblood said.

Scrivner has four children—two boys and two girls—all under the age of 18.

The child that stabbed Scrivner was not arrested, and Youngblood declined to say if the child who was allegedly sexually assaulted was a boy or a girl.

“The child was protecting the other child from what he believed occurred.”

Detectives obtained search warrants for the house and looked for evidence of the stabbing and sexual assault. Detectives seized approximately 30 firearms and possible evidence of the stabbing and sexual assault, taking forensic evidence for examination.

Detectives seized electronics from the house and found a small quantity of psychedelic mushrooms.

Scrivner’s parents and all four children were at the house on Tuesday night.

His wife, Christina Scrivner, was not present. Court documents show that she filed for divorce in March.

Scrivner was taken to Kern Medical Center and was treated for his wounds before being released.

Youngblood did not comment on whether Scrivner was held at Kern Medical Center on a 5150 psychiatric hold due to HIPPA law.

The children are currently with their mother. Youngblood said there is an emergency protective order to keep Scrivner away from them.

Youngblood said he did not know where Scrivner was on Thursday.

 Because Zimmer and Scrivner are related, Youngblood said the sheriff’s office contacted the California Attorney General’s and Tulare County Sheriff’s offices.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and seized 30 firearms, psychedelic mushrooms, electronic devices, and possible evidence of sexual assault in the house, Youngblood said. Forensic studies will determine whether Scrivner was under the influence.

Scrivner is barred from having contact with his children by a criminal protective order. Once the Kern County Sheriff’s Office completes its investigation, one of those offices will review the evidence in the case.

“It should be noted that this investigation is ongoing and not near completed,” Youngblood said. “We still have interviews to conduct. We still have forensic evaluations to make, and this could be a lengthy process because it’s not going to be submitted to our crime lab here or our district attorney here. It’s going to go outside the county, so it may take us a little bit longer to come to a conclusion.

 Following Youngblood’s press conference, Scrivner’s lawyer, H.A. Sala, addressed the media and refuted the allegations, saying Youngblood should have vetted the investigation before talking to the press.

“We have a reasonable basis to believe and conclude that that allegation is absolutely not reliable,” Sala said. “It’s not true. It did not occur. We also have a reasonable basis to conclude that there was no corroboration – there was no corroborative evidence seized from Mr. Scrivner’s home. We also have a reasonable basis to conclude that the so-called altercation that occurred at the residence involved an incident that concerned the disarming of Mr. Scrivner. As the sheriff indicated, there was a report that he may have been suicidal. The so-called altercation did not involve Mr. Scrivner brandishing a weapon, pointing a weapon, or trying to assault anyone. There was an attempt to take the firearm from Mr. Scrivner so that he would not use it against himself. That’s the basis of the evidence – did not involve anything more than that.”

Sala said Scrivner was distraught over his pending divorce and was suicidal. According to Sala, Scrivner’s son stabbed him in an attempt to disarm him.

“Mr. Scrivner is an absolutely dedicated father,” Sala said. He loves his children and would never do anything to harm them. He cares for them, feeds them, and clothes them. He’s absolutely committed to his children. And I can tell you this: He’s very distraught that they’re going through this.”

Scrivner continued, “We’re asking that people keep an open mind right now and not rush to judgment, not make conclusions or assumptions. And this is why what happened this afternoon concerning the press conference is so disturbing.”

Scrivner, 50, has been the Second District Supervisor on the Kern County Board of Supervisors since 2010. Before that, he was a Bakersfield City Councilman.

Professor Ian Anderson said Kern County can’t have a district without a representative, so there may need to be another election or someone to fill the vacancy temporarily if he is removed or steps down.