By Noe Herrera
SANTA BARBARA, CA – In an arraignment here in Santa Barbara County Superior Court Wednesday morning, B****, accused of child rape, pleaded not guilty and requested release—Judge Clifford Anderson denied the request and set bail at a quarter of a million dollars.
NOTE: The Vanguard is not revealing the true name of the defendant to protect the identity of the victim.
B**** was accused of committing sexual misconduct on his stepdaughter, a minor under 10 years of age, which is a felony and is punishable for 15 years-to-life in prison. The charge was enhanced because the child was under 10 years old.
By law, the minimum set bail for sexual assault on a child is $250,000.
Deputy District Attorney Justin Green said the prosecution strongly opposed bail. Green said the mother did not request a “No Contact Order,” but that the prosecution was requesting it, nonetheless.
Assistant Public Defender Brian Mathis argued that B**** had no prior criminal record and that the incident occurred “at least four years ago.” Mathis said that no other incident had taken place after the allegation and that the risk assessment score on B**** was “zero, which is exceedingly rare.”
Mathis further stated that B**** has a residence that “would keep him over a mile away from the alleged victim.” B**** agreed he would comply with any protection orders and conditions the court found appropriate.
DDA Green countered that “it is very clear from the mother’s input that she cannot or has no intention of protecting the victim of this case and…that there is severe concern if the defendant is released in any fashion given the input of the mom.”
Green said the mother did not seem to take her daughter seriously and is “OK to take B**** back in the house with her daughter present, further victimizing the daughter.”
Judge Anderson acknowledged the risk assessment score on B****, but said B**** may become a flight risk if he is convicted for the charge.
DDA Green interjected that a conviction for his charges may include a sentence of life imprisonment, making the risk even greater.
Judge Anderson said “it is concerning that the minor’s mother made the statements that she did in the report,” denying any reduction for the $250,000 bail.
He said if B**** were to choose bail, he would need to comply with a GPS tracking device and a protection order for the victim of “no contact whatsoever.”
The next hearing for three other charges against B**** of “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old” will be Oct. 26.