After Prelim, Defense Wants Bail to Remain, Prosecution Wants Bail Increased – Judge Disagrees with Both, Rules Bail Should Be Withdrawn Altogether  

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By Michael Apfel

MODESTO, CA – A man was denied bail here in Stanislaus County Superior Court this week by Judge Shawn Bessey after a preliminary hearing for a man accused of felony oral copulation by force, felony sodomy on the confidential victim, felony false imprisonment, and felony unlawful drug administration.

The accused was also found in violation of his prior probation, and that was consequently revoked by the court, which ruled after the hearing.

Following a preliminary examination of several witnesses including the alleged victim, Judge Bessey found there was sufficient cause to bring the case to trial.

During discussions about bail, Deputy District Attorney Larissa Jones requested a raise in bail, because the accused had recently demonstrated a course of conduct by violating probation.

“In this situation, we have a defendant initially charged with attempted murder and a variety of other crimes, and he pled to the other felony, making it a strike in November. It’s a course of conduct. I think that action, coupled with just three months later, getting out of custody and taking Jane Doe behind for three days, forcibly has her orally copulate him, administers drugs, uses violence and threats. The bail should be increased in this case because of his continued course of conduct,” the DDA insisted.

The defense argued bail should remain at the original amount of $370,000, arguing the lack of risk the accused poses for not appearing in future court dates.

“Our request would be that bail remain at the same amount,” the defense said. “There has been no indication that (the accused) is a flight risk, and at this point there hasn’t been a change of circumstances in regards to the facts of the case.”

Judge Bessey took a strong position different from both the prosecution and defense, advocating for an outright revocation of bail, citing the seriousness of the alleged wrongdoings compounded with the recent violation of probation.

The accused was “found in violation of probation with a suspended state prison sentence, so I do find a change in circumstances,” Judge Bessey said. “I listened to the facts of the case, which always renders the court to readdress bail… I find this is a public safety risk based on my probable cause finding and the fact that he is pending sentencing now.”

The defense agreed to waive sentencing time, and future proceedings were to be scheduled to address further matters.

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About The Author

Michael Apfel is a second year at USC majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Sports Media Industries. He plans on law school after his undergraduate studies looking to work in social justice.

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