COURT WATCH: After Being Falsely Charged, Jailed for 5 Months, Man Found Not Guilty after Jury Trial

San Francisco Hall of Justice – Photo by David M. Greenwald

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A San Francisco County Superior Court jury Thursday found a man not guilty of a charge of felony assault, but not before the accused spent five months in county jail waiting for his “day in court.”

Gregory Bolds informed police he was fending off a sexual assault last May, but officers arrested him and never investigated his claim of self-defense, said his defense team.

The jury deliberated for less than one day before acquitting Bolds and finally sending him home, according to a statement by SF Deputy Public Defenders Anthony Gedeon and Gabriella Rodezno.

“The law says that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but Mr. Bolds was presumed guilty every step of the way until we were able to get in front of a jury,” said Gedeon, whose attempts to get Bolds released from jail before trial were denied by judges. 

Gideon added, “As a result of being kept in jail, Bolds lost his job and one of his sons had to drop out of college to work to help pay his rent.”

According to the SF Public Defender’s Office, on May 25 “police were called to a residential building after a neighbor heard a commotion inside a neighboring apartment and heard someone yell for help.

“Police spoke to Bolds, who remained on the scene and told an officer that he had fought off a sexual assault by a person whom he had met earlier that night. But that officer failed to tell their superior and never investigated that claim. Instead, Bolds was arrested and accused of assault.”

The PD Office added a “neighbor who called police and testified at trial said that he was suspicious of Bolds, a Black man, because he had never seen him before, even though he admitted that lots of visitors he doesn’t know often come and go from that building. The alleged victim in this case, who suffered bruising from the incident, refused to testify.”

“After several unjust months of incarceration, Mr. Bolds’ right to a trial ultimately secured his release, highlighting the extreme importance of a speedy trial right,” said Public Defender Mano Raju, who added his office “continues to fight to protect this right for felony cases and restore the right for people charged with misdemeanors.”

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