By Beth Miller, Samuel Van Blaricom, Gabriel Eskandari
SACRAMENTO, CA – A question the courts constantly face is what public safety measures can be put in place if an accused person is released on bail prior to trial.
But Friday, in Sacramento County Superior Court, in the cases of brothers Jared and David Belmares, the court found that there were no measures to guarantee the immediate safety of the public should the brothers choose to act again.
Jared Belmares, represented by attorney Jay Dyer, is facing five counts of child molestation and up to 40 years in a state prison.
There are two alleged victims in Jared Belmares’ case, and another two separate victims who claim he molested them as well.
His wife works as a schoolteacher and, prior to his arrest, Jared Belmares worked as a maintenance worker. He has no prior arrests.
Defense counsel Dyer entered the hearing asking the court to drop bail altogether, or at least to reduce it to a reasonable level given the defendant’s financial situation. He also stated that they would be amenable to conditions of release, such as ankle-monitoring.
Deputy District Dinah Mielke disagreed, maintaining the current bail of $750,000 was already below what it would be if set at schedule, which would make it $900,000.
David Belmares, represented by attorney Keith Staten, is accused of child molestation charges that go back to 2013. The allegations took place at their mother’s residence, where it is stated she was running a foster care center and day care.
Currently, two girls allege that David Belmares molested them around 2013. Between 2013 and 2016, David spent three years in prison for molesting three other girls at his mother’s residence.
Staten argued for $100,000 bail for David Belmares, arguing that his client had admitted to this separate molestation conduct that he says police were not aware of, taking accountability and serving those three years in prison.
DDA Mielke argued the court should hold David Belmares without bail, stating that he only admitted to molesting the girls that he was confronted with, and that he is facing multiple charges that carry life terms if convicted.
Mielke also brought up his prior conviction, saying, “We know for a fact, as he has been adjudicated, that he has molested three girls. We also know that he has now been charged with two more as an adult.
“There are no lesser conditions that can be placed on him to protect the community. An ankle monitor only tells us where he is when he commits again,” Mielke insisted.
Staten disagreed with Mielke’s argument of using David Belmares’ past conviction for his bail consideration, arguing that he already served his time for the first case.
Judge Patrick Marlette noted that the bail decision was based on the court’s opinion as to whether or not the Belmares brothers presented a danger if released, rather than whether they presented such a danger 10 years ago when the molestations allegedly took place.
In David Belmares’ case, Judge Merlette said “a monitor or an order not to be with kids is just not going to be sufficient… it won’t prevent him [David] from offending.”
Additionally, in the case of Jared Belmares, Marlette said, “In these two cases, it’s a crime that occurs in secret, in the dark, not in public. The court’s obligation is to protect the public from these offenses happening again, not simply ensuring that the defendant be caught if he reoffended.”
Both brothers were ultimately denied bail.
The mother of the current victims wrote a letter which she requested to be read to the court.
She wrote, “[the abuse] caused irreversible trauma to my girls and others. From what I’ve learned, it doesn’t go away or get easier as time goes by…I’m constantly having to console her [one of the victims] and promise her that things will get better, but in reality they’ll live with this abuse for the rest of their lives.”
The Belmares’ trial is set for Dec. 13 at 8:45 a.m.