By Gabriel Eskandari
SACRAMENTO, CA. – During a bail motion in Sacramento County Superior Court this week, Judge Joseph Orr refused to grant pretrial release to Howard Halfon, a man accused of following and asking an 11-year-old girl for sexual favors.
According to Deputy District Attorney Ashley Pane, Halfon is accused of following the alleged victim down the street, continuing to follow her when she crossed the street, asking her if she knew what oral sex was, and then asking her to meet him in a wooded area next to her house so that he could show her.
DDA Pane stated that the victim then ran home and told her mother, who saw Halfon standing outside.
Assistant Public Defender Kyra Nickell, representing Halfon, argued for his pretrial release by stating that he cannot afford the bail, and that because he resides locally he does not present the risk of failing to appear in court.
PD Nickell also mentioned Halfon is a Navy veteran, has no prior criminal history, and that the incidents appear to be one-off situations involving people he didn’t personally know. She stated that Halfon would agree to any conditions of his release.
DDA Pane objected to the request, arguing that Halfon is a danger to the alleged victim due to the aforementioned accusations.
DDA Pane also noted comments Halfon reportedly made to officers, who report: “When asked if the defendant knew why the girl told officers she’d been frightened, the defendant said, ‘This little girl is not so innocent. Number one, she likes oral sex, and number two, she’s not a virgin either.’”
Further, DDA Pane noted that a restraining order was issued as a result of this case and that Halfon purposefully violated it, resulting in an additional misdemeanor.
Judge Orr then cut off DDA Pane while she continued to argue her case, saying he was denying the motion to have Halfon released on his own recognizance.
“Not only is he potentially a sex offender, he violated a court order,” Judge Orr stated.
Judge Orr also served Halfon with an order of absolute no-contact with the victim—he must stay 100 yards away and have no communication with her.
The matter will be resumed in court on Oct. 13 at 8:30 a.m.