Bruce Nelson, appearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing before Judge Bruce Dodds, opted to waive the hearing and instead proceed to trial before Judge Frank Ochoa. Nelson, a former care worker at Solutions Rehabilitation Center, is being charged with seven counts of sexual assault in connection with his time at the center. The allegations have come from two separate women.
Nelson’s arraignment for trial will begin December 3, with his trial coming in the months following. Deputy District Attorney Joyce Dudley said the waiving of a preliminary hearing is common, and that there is not necessarily any deeper meaning to Nelson’s decision.
Nelson, who is represented by local attorney Steve Balash, is well-known in the Santa Barbara community for his work in youth basketball. Nelson was the head coach of the boy’s basketball team at Dos Pueblos High for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons and also served as an assistant for the boy’s basketball team the past two seasons at Santa Barbara High, where his son is a standout basketball player.