Friday, December 4, 2009

Kudos to Judge LeBlanc

I had occasion to monitor a bond motion in Judge Bob LeBlanc's court today for defendant Darrel Rayford, charged with Burglary, Lewd/Lascivious Battery, Lewd/Lascivious Molestation, and Possession of Cannabis.

Rayford, age 25, allegedly used the cannabis to lure a 15-yr old girl while she was on her way to school. After smoking it, they had consensual sex (though a 15-yr old cannot legally consent). The defense contended that she lied about her age.

Defense Attorney Robert Larr did a good job of eliciting testimony from the defendant's mother about the family's finances (which are minimal) and ties to the community (Rayford recently moved here from Miami, but his mother has lived here 4 years). He requested a $2,500 bond.

Assistant State Attorney Lisa Gong made sure the judge was aware of Rayford's 14 previous convictions for crimes like armed robbery, cocaine possession, burglary, grand theft motor vehicle, trespass, cannabis, resisting officer w/o violence, etc. She indicated that the victim and her mother are very afraid of the defendant (they were not able to be present in court today and were extremely upset that he was seeking a bond).

The defendant actually started to argue with the judge that he did not have 14 convictions - not seeming to understand that each charge counted as one, even though they were consolidated into two or three court cases. The judge was patient but firm as he explained how he could have so many convictions with so few court cases.

Judge LeBlanc expressed great concern for the victim and her mother as he announced his decision. He granted a $26,100 bond and put the defendant on home confinement, ordered that he have no contact with the victim, submit to drug testing, and abide by a 9:00pm to 7:00am curfew. I always thought home confinement meant he was confined to home. I'll look into that further.

Thank you Judge LeBlanc.

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