By Fiona Davis
SACRAMENTO – A Sacramento County Superior Court judge here this week granted the bail release of a defendant charged in the sexual assault on a minor, after defense counsel argued the evidence was conflicting and weak.
Timothy John Roberts, age 45, is alleged to have sexually assaulted his girlfriend’s daughter, who was 14-15 years old at the time. The alleged victim stated that the defendant forcefully kissed her, and engaged in other sexual acts with her.
He has been charged with “willfully and lewdly commit[ting] lewd or lascivious act[s]” toward a minor.
During the bail hearing held by Judge Patrick Marlette, Deputy District Attorney James Wax made it clear that the prosecution opposed the defense’s motion to release Roberts. Wax stated that the sexual offenses Robert allegedly committed made bail impermissible.
In his argument against the defendant’s release, Wax spoke about the power dynamic that the victim was allegedly subject to, stating that the defendant had told his girlfriend’s daughter not to tell anyone about their sexual encounters—Wax argued that Roberts had “taken advantage” of his role as a parental figure.
Wax also presented evidence meant to support the validity of the alleged victim’s testimony, stating that charges were corroborated by DNA evidence. He explained that a sample collected from the mouth of the alleged victim was found to be a partial match to the defendant, with a likelihood of one in 1,206.
Additionally, Wax cited witness testimony that supported the alleged victim’s claim that Robert’s had behaved inappropriately and in ways that made the victim “uncomfortable.”
However, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Nelson advocated emphatically for his client’s release, opening his argument by stating that the sexual offenses Roberts has been charged with are “non-serious” and “non-violent.”
The defense also pushed back against the evidence presented by the prosecution. Nelson stated that the victim’s mother “doesn’t believe that these allegations are correct.” He also argued that the investigators’ insistence on further investigation showed that the charges lack sufficient evidence.
“The police obviously don’t believe her (the victim),” Nelson said. But DDA Wax later stated that this claim was “bombastic” and had “no basis.”
Nelson also pointed out that the DNA results only presented a partial match, and did not prove the defendant had sexual contact with the young woman.
“It’s not conclusive. It’s not one in 500 kazillion! It’s one in 1,000.” Nelson stated.
In addition, the defense argued that Roberts did not pose a risk to the public. Nelson stated that the defendant possessed a “minimal” history of prior criminal offense, citing a domestic violence misdemeanor from 1997 as the defendant’s only prior offense.
The defense attorney also pointed out that Roberts would not have to be in close proximity with the victim, as she is currently living with her sister after having been removed from her mother’s care.
Judge Marlette ultimately granted the release of the defendant, and ordered that Roberts could not contact the alleged victim in any way while on bail.
Proceedings for Roberts are scheduled to resume on July 28.