Long Beach, $200,000 Bail Reduced to $100,000, Sex Offense

Our client, a massage therapist operating out of his Wilmington home, was charged with two counts of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object (Penal Code § 289(d)).  The foreign object was his hand.

The victim, age 85, in the case underwent a massage at our client’s home, paid him and left without complaining.  A few days later, however, the Harbor Division police station called him and asked him to come to the station.  Our client, age 75, did and, while there, the victim called him.  The police were recording the call, also known as a “pretext call.”

The victim began by asking our client why he did what he did.   She explained that she had lower back pain, so there really was no need for him to insert his finger into her vagina.  Instead of denying that he stuck his fingers in the victim’s vagina, he explained that there was a medical purpose and benefit to what he did. 

Instead of telling her she was crazy and fabricating a claim, or reminding her that she consented, he admitted his conduct and went on to defend it as medically proper, although he had no education beyond the ninth grade in high school.  He also did not remind her that she never complained about the “massage” while he was performing it and that she paid him for his service.

Our client was quickly arrested on two charges of violating Penal Code § 289(d).  This was a serious sex offense matter, wherein he allegedly took advantage of his position as a “sobrador” over a vulnerable victim, not only because of her age, but because of her need for medical attention.    Bail was set at $200,000 and his family was unable to post the amount necessary for a bond (usually eight to ten percent).

The family came to Greg Hill & Associates, most concerned that their father was in jail and deprived of his heart medication, as well as several other pills that he took every day.  They were concerned he might die in jail before any charges were even resolved.

Making matters worse, the family had visited him and the father was despondent, just crying and otherwise very sad with being in jail, powerless.

Greg Hill was substituted in as counsel of record at the Preliminary Hearing.  Following the testimony of the victim, Greg made a motion to dismiss one of the two charges with a motion to reduce bail if the one charge was dismissed.  The Long Beach judge granted the motion to dismiss one of the charges and also the motion to reduce bail.  She reduced bail to $100,000, which our client was able to post a bond for (eight to ten percent).

The client’s family was happy that our client was able to return home, where he could again take his medication.  They were also pleased that one of the two charges was dismissed.

It merits mention in this discussion of bail that judges are supposed to consider just two criteria in evaluating what amount of bail is necessary.  The amount is supposed to be a sum that guarantees the defendant’s future appearances at court and one that protects the public.  This is a difficult analysis, as no amount of bail will really protect the public unless the bail is so high that client cannot post it at all.  Moreover, it is exceedingly difficult for a judge to figure out how much money to set for bail to guarantee one’s future appearance in court.  Judges do not perform any type of analysis of a person’s financial status, i.e. evaluation of one’s bank accounts, equity in one’s home, value of cars, etc.

For more information about the issues in this case summary, click on the following articles:
  1. What is Bail and Can it Be Reduced?
  2. How is Bail Set?
  3. How Do I Get Bail Reduced?
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