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No Domestic Violence Charge for Former Judge Arrested in Fresno

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Former federal judge Oliver W. Wanger will not face charges from his December domestic violence arrest. (Shutterstock)
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Oliver W. Wanger, a former federal judge from Fresno, will not face charges following a domestic violence arrest last month.

Oliver W. Wanger

Police arrested Wanger, 82, on Dec. 17, 2022, at his north Fresno home. The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office — conflicting out “to avoid any appearance of impropriety if handled by our office” a DA spokeswoman said — turned the case over to counterparts in Tulare County for investigation.

In a Jan. 3 letter to Fresno law enforcement, Tulare County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Janet Wise said “we are unable to proceed with criminal charges in
this matter due to a lack of sufficient, admissible corroborating evidence to support a charge. … Therefore, based on the above facts, we are unable to file a charge of domestic violence.”

The news was first reported by several media outlets last week.

Alleged Victim Ends Participation in Investigation

Wise explained that her office reviewed police cameras, 911 calls, and photographs. The alleged victim, through her attorney, told investigators “the victim’s wishes in this matter (are) to not move forward with this investigation, to have no further contact from police or prosecutors … .”

Wanger served as a federal judge for 20 years (1991-2011) and became known for his expertise in complicated water and environmental cases. He also handled some Fresno County Superior Court cases on a temporary basis.

After retiring from the bench, Wanger has continued to practice law, focusing on water litigation and mediation.

[Update, 2/02/2023: the original story said Wanger served as a Fresno County Superior Court judge from 1986-1991. He handled some cases on a temporary basis.]

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