Craig Judge Sandra Gardner denied Monday morning a 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office request to increase the bond for a Craig man charged with possessing illicit material.
The 48-year-old man faces one charge of sexual exploitation of a child, a class 4 felony. The charging document alleges he "unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly" possessed more than 20 items qualifying as sexually exploitative material.
The Daily Press is withholding the defendant's name in accordance with newspaper policy regarding sexual-related charges.
The District Attorney's Office also requested a new bond hearing. Prosecutors stated their intention would be to request the bond be raised from the $10,000 the suspect posted shortly after arrest to $100,000.
A bond hearing for the suspect took place Sept. 17, and prosecutors were not given notice of the proceeding, and therefore did not attend, according to the motion.
The defendant's attorney, James "Sandy" Horner, appeared by telephone, and bond was set at $10,000, the scheduled amount for a class 4 felony, the document also states.
Prosecutors are aware of factors that justify a higher bond amount, and "were we to have been afforded the statutorily required notice and the opportunity to appear" would have advised the court of those factors, according to the motion.
Factors listed by prosecutors were:
• Further charges against the suspect in the 14th Judicial District are pending, and charges in other jurisdictions are likely.
• The defendant has limited ties to the area.
• He has "apparently told co-workers that he planned to leave the area 'for a few weeks.'"
• The defendant is a medical professional and "likely has resources with which to flee."
Horner filed a response to prosecutors' request, opposing the bond increase and the surrender of his client's passport.
His motion indicated that prosecutors had the same opportunity as the defense to contact the court and appear for the bond hearing.
The motion also listed grounds for denying the bond increase such as the defendant having no prior criminal history, no failures to appear, owning a home in Craig and being gainfully employed.
"He has no reason to flee the jurisdiction," according to the motion.
The defendant does not know the location of his passport and the request for it to be surrendered "is unjustified and superfluous," Horner wrote.
In her decision, Judge Gardner ruled against the request to increase the bond amount, but granted the order for the defendant to surrender his passport.
The defendant will appear in court next at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 5.