By Linhchi Nguyen
SACRAMENTO – A defendant faced an increase in bail here in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday—his bail was hiked from $50,000 to $200,000 for allegedly assaulting a prostitute and threatening to post videos of her if she reached out to law enforcement.
Despite just recently paying for a previous $50,000 bail, defendant Guadalupe Hernandez was shocked to hear that Judge Scott L. Tedmon accepted the prosecutor’s request to increase his bail another $150,000.
He didn’t help matters by yelling at the judge.
Hernandez, who was out on $50,000 bail on a rape case and additionally charged for domestic abuse, tried to argue through Assistant Public Defender Sameera Ali against the seriousness of the victim’s injuries and his record of failing to appear in court.
However, Ali’s defense was all in vain, causing Hernandez to lash out, and this only further affirmed Judge Tedmon’s decision to increase bail.
Appearing through Zoom, Deputy District Attorney Courtney Martin first brought up the request to increase Hernandez’s bail given the seriousness of his crime.
“The defendant is out on bail on a rape case,” she explained. “And that case is accused of forcibly raping a woman in a massage parlor where he had gone as a client.”
She went on to explain the present case, where Hernandez was alleged to be involved with a woman, who was engaged in prostitution. After being in a relationship together, “they got into an argument last Monday, the 18th. He slapped her so hard that [her] nose ring came out of her nose,” said Martin.
Martin confirmed that law enforcement was able to detect strangulation marks around the victim’s neck, as well as minor bleeding where the nose ring has been.
However, Martin emphasized that “what is really concerning about this is while she was talking to law enforcement, the defendant is texting her. [He’s] basically telling her that he sees her talking to law enforcement, [and] she shouldn’t be doing that.”
The defendant was also video recording the victim at that moment, and he threatened her that he would post the video in the area where she is from, which is Fresno. “The implication is that he’s going to let people know on the street that she is ratting him out,” Martin stated.
In response, the victim asked the police if she could hide inside the patrol car so the defendant wouldn’t be able to see her, and she also asked to be taken out of the area.
The prosecution is planning to follow up with the victim to “corroborate whether or not [Hernandez] is pimping her,” according to Martin.
On top of his domestic violence, Hernandez also has a history of failing to appear and following court orders. Martin pointed out that he had 17 failures to appear since 2008, four violations of restraining orders, and several violations of other court orders. Martin asked the court to weigh these facts heavily when evaluating bail on this case.
After talking with the defendant for a brief moment, PD Ali spoke out against some of the allegations.
For one, she stated that the police report did not actually address any signs of redness or bruising on the victim’s neck nor “any of the nature that we usually see in domestic violence reports.” They only recorded seeing scratches on the victim’s chest, but other than that, the victim herself indicated that she does not need any medical attention, she said.
To this, DDA Martin responded that the victim is a “darker skinned individual,” so the “redness [might be] hard to see on her.” She further noted that Hernandez has assaulted the victim in the past, threatening her with a knife and a “stake-like implement” which he held to her chest.
As for the defendant’s track record, PD Ali acknowledged the seriousness of his past convictions, but she pointed out that Hernandez does not have any convictions prior to this case since 2016, and while he has been out of custody, nothing in the report indicates that he has been a danger to the complaining witness, she said, describing him as “crime-free, [staying] out of trouble” for about four years.
Currently, he is a full-time worker and has access to transportation to make all his future appearances. “He posted a $50,000 bond. I believe that it is a significant bond,” Ali said at last. “He has shown up to court and is present before this court today. And I think all those factors weigh in his favor. So I would request that bail remains at what he currently posted.”
However, despite her arguments, Judge Tedmon decided that, given Hernandez’s criminal history and the fact that he is out on bail pending on a rape case, “the current bail is inadequate to protect the victim and the public at large.” The judge accepted Martin’s request in resetting the bail to an additional $150,000.
Hearing this, Hernandez suddenly cried out, “Hey, how do you do that when it’s just somebody who said something?”
Judge Tedmon was then quick to order Hernandez to quiet down and noted his disrespect toward the court: “Mr. Hernandez, the court has made its decision. You’re not going to help yourself by speaking out loud.”
And in response, the defendant yelled out, “That’s crazy, man!”
As a result of Hernandez’s “disrespect,” Judge Tedmon felt even more convinced that the decision to increase bail was appropriate.
Linhchi Nguyen is a fourth year at UC Davis, double majoring in Political Science and English. She currently lives in Sacramento, California.
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