Judge Releases Man Pre-Trial but Places Strict Restrictions

By Angelina Sang

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Santa Barbara County Judge Raimundo Montes de Oca took a practical approach when a man already convicted of sexual felony charges against a minor allegedly struck again—the judge released the accused pretrial but placed him on 24-hour GPS monitoring and imposed strict guidelines.

In 2018, after showing up at a meet-up location previously arranged with a minor, the accused was taken into custody by the police, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

The accused was convicted of sending harmful matter to and arranging to meet with a minor for the purpose of committing sexual acts, according to the Ventura County Superior Court records.

The accused was sentenced to prison for two years, and after serving time he was placed on parole.

In January 2020, however, the accused broke the rules of his parole by using his computer to further sexual activities. Then, just three months ago, he again allegedly solicited another lewd act against a minor.

The accused now faces charges of annoying or molesting a child as well as soliciting a lewd act from a minor.

While Assistant Public Defender Mary Huft pushed for the supervised release, Deputy District Attorney Justin Greene disagreed.

“Based upon his recent history, including the 2018 state prison sentence for the sex case, he is a public safety threat. Based upon that and going to prison, getting released, and then engaging in this subsequent misconduct,” said Greene, arguing against the accused’s release of any sort before his trial.

DDA Greene argued, “He has shown himself as not the most reliable individual, and appears to have some issues in dealing with his inclinations.”

However, Huft claimed the accused did incredibly well with supervised parole, adding she planned to contact the accused’s wife to ask her about the accused as well.

Judge Montes de Oca took the middle ground, stating what the accused would have to do upon his release.

“No drugs, no alcohol, GPS, contact with pretrial services at least twice a week, stay away from areas where minors are present, and no contact with minors. I believe that that’s what will provide the community with protection,” said Judge Montes de Oca, putting a protective order in place to protect the alleged victim.

“Are you talking about schools or playgrounds?” asked PD Huft, adding, “I don’t want him to have to stay away from the grocery store, for example.”

“Given the circumstances of the offense, which apparently took place in a public area, that’s the best I can do,” responded Judge Montes de Oca.

In doing so, Judge Montes de Oca allowed the accused to be released before his trial but made the terms of the accused’s release strict enough to prohibit the accused from potentially causing further harm to the public.

The accused will appear again in court to continue his arraignment on Aug. 4.

About The Author

Angelina is a junior at UCSB from San Carlos, California studying Psychological and Brain Sciences and History pursuing a pre-law track.

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