Judge reduces bond for man accused of molesting daughter

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Judge Joel Thompson Monday reduced a $100,000 bond for a Craig man who allegedly sexually assaulted his daughter over a 10-year period.

Thompson cut the bond for the 43-year-old father of two daughters to $30,000 during the scheduled arraignment hearing.

As of 9 a.m. today, the suspect remained in Moffat County Jail.

He did not enter a plea Monday and is due back in district court Feb. 3.

The man has been held at the jail since his Sept. 17 arrest. Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James set bond Sept. 19 at $100,000. James, who said Sept. 19 the suspect's possible life sentence upon conviction factored into her decision, set bond above Deputy District Attorney David Waite's request for $50,000.

Bonnie Roesink, assistant district attorney, argued against bond reduction, noting the suspect's prior 1994 sex-related conviction involving a minor in Anchorage, Alaska.

"We are very much opposed to this as are the victims in this case," Roesink told Thompson, adding that the District Attorney's office is weighing additional charges of alleged sexual assaults against a second daughter.

The man is now charged with two counts of aggravated incest against one of his two daughters, one count of first-degree sexual assault through physical force, and four counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust as a pattern.

If convicted on just one of the latter charges, he faces a possible life term in state prison.

The alleged assaults all occurred between December 1992 and April 2002, according to court documents.

Thompson on Monday, at the request of the suspect's court-appointed attorney, stopped reading the charges in open court just after starting.

Thompson questioned James' original bond set for the suspect, saying the legal measure shouldn't be used "to punish before a determination of guilt or innocence."

"The purpose is to ensure the appearance of a defendant for court procedures, not to lock them up and hold for the protection of others," the judge said.

Thompson also said the suspect's lack of a lengthy criminal record factored into his decision.

James on Sept. 19 placed a mandatory restraining order against the suspect contacting his family.

In an effort to protect the identities of the victims, the Craig Daily Press will not name the accused in this case.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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