Self-Defense from Sexual Battery or Vicious Assault? Judge Raises Bail in Yolo Attempted Murder Case

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A woman and her fiancé were at a bar in West Sacramento when the woman was allegedly sexually accosted by two older males.  That led to a lengthy confrontation, a vicious assault and now attempted murder charges.  Deputy DA Preston Schaub argued for no bail on the two defendants—Maile Tupou and Ilalio Timoti.

However, following a bail hearing by Judge Peter Williams, the judge held Ms. Tupou’s bail at $100,000 allowing her to remain out of custody on bail, while raising Mr. Timoti’s bail to $500,000—splitting the difference, so it would seem, between the DA’s request for no bail, and that of Timoti’s newly-hired attorney, Jared Favero, who requested his bail remain as set previously.

According to a motion filed by Ms. Tupou’s attorney Jennifer Mouzis, the two alleged victims were at the Cheers Bar in West Sacramento on January 12 when they began to make unwanted sexual advances on Ms. Tupou.  She attempted to ignore them but one of the men placed something in her drink and touched her in a sexual manner.

At this point, a physical altercation ensued and both victims were badly beaten.

Ms. Mouzis argues: “The facts (in this case) speak to an altercation entered in the heat of passion after the victims sexually assaulted Ms. Tupou.”

At the hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Schaub argued for no bail.

Under Propostion 4, the People argue, it states, “[i]n fixing the amount of bail, the court shall take into consideration the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her appearing at the trial or hearing of the case.”

He argued that, based on the premeditated attempted murder charge, they were justified in seeking a no bail holding.  Mr. Schaub in his motion acknowledged that the altercation began because one of the victims allegedly touched Ms. Tupou inside the bar.

He writes, “A subject later identified as Defendant Timoti approaches the victim who allegedly touched his wife and strikes him with a closed fist. The victim drops to the ground and appears to lose consciousness. At this point the second victim approaches Defendant Timoti. Defendant Timoti strikes that victim as well with a closed first. The second victim also drops to the ground. It is at this point that Defendant Tupou approaches and punches one victim multiple times in the face with a closed fist and begins to kick the second victim in the chest while he remains on the ground.”

Mr. Schaub adds: “For approximately the next 26 minutes, Defendant Timoti is observed on the video repeatedly punching and kicking the victim who allegedly touched Defendant Tupou. The victim appears to be coming in and out of consciousness during this time, eventually managing to sit himself up.”

He continues: “Defendant Timoti is then observed speaking with the victim, taking a picture of the victim’s face with his phone, showing the victim the photo, and then proceeding to continue to kick the victim in the face while he remains seated. The Defendant is later observed smoking a cigarette with the victim before continuing to punch him multiple times.”

However, Mr. Schaub told Judge Williams he does not see any difference between the conduct of Mr. Timoti and that of Ms. Tupou.

Defense Attorney Jen Mouzis, however, strongly disagreed, arguing that there has been no discovery provided on the victims being unconscious and that the defense has not been given the tapes.

Ms. Mouzis argued that her client at this point has been sexually assaulted by one of the victims, she is heavily intoxicated and she basically punches or kicks a couple of times.  There is no documentation about the strength or severity of those kicks or punches.

Ms. Mouzis noted that the West Sacramento Police Department has failed “to obtain and safeguard that portion of the video tape that preceded the altercation that would have capture the (sexual assault)” and she noted that a “a number of independent witnesses stated that the altercation was a direct result of the assault.”

She argued that “Ms. Tupou’s total involvement in the premeditated attempted murder is one punch, two open handed strikes, and three kicks.”

She argued in court that, in her view, neither should have been held on no bail, but especially her client.

She also questioned the charge of mayhem, arguing “that there is no allegation from any source that either Ms. Tupou or Mr. Timoti,” “unlawfully and maliciously deprived a person of a member of his or her body, disabled, disfigured, or rendered it useless” or “unlawfully and maliciously cut or disabled the tongue, put out an eye, or slit the nose, ear, or lip, of a person.”

She further told Judge Williams that Ms. Tupou turned herself in when she found out about the warrant, she has no criminal record and is a lifelong resident of the county and therefore neither a flight risk nor a public safety risk.

Jared Favero, representing Mr. Timoti, is a former Yolo County Deputy DA, now a private counsel.  He said that he was just retained by Mr. Timoti on Friday but joined in the opposition motion filed by Ms. Mouzis.

He argued that Mr. Timoti is employed full time and there are other remedies to protect public safety including stay away orders, and a SCRAM (continuous alcohol monitoring) device to avoid alcohol.

Judge Williams disagreed with Mr. Schaub that the two defendants were equally culpable.  He ruled that Ms. Tupou should remain on $100,000 which he argued was sufficient to protect the community.

On Mr. Timoti, he saw the allegations of his conduct as “profoundly disturbing” and did not agree that no bail was warranted here.

He said that it was sufficient to protect public safety to put him on $500,000 bail, ruling that if the defendant could make that level of bail, it would cause him to re-think his conduct.

Mr. Favero told the court his client would not be able to make that level of bail.  And he asked that the judge put the matter over for preliminary hearing within the statutory time period.

The matter is set for prelim on March 17 in front of Judge David Rosenberg.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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