Bail kept at $150K for Mat-Su man charged with sexually abusing foster child
A Wasilla man accused of sexually abusing a foster child is being held on $150,000 bail.
Michael Felch, 62, appeared in a Palmer courtroom for a bail hearing on Tuesday. Felch is charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old child in his care.
Defense attorney, Brad Carlson, requested the judge lower the bail to $20,000 with 10% paid up front. Carlson told Judge Jonathan Woodman the facts of the case aren’t as they appear. He said the alleged victim has a family member who is also charged with abusing minors and the child may be getting the incidents confused.
“This is a guy who is a member of our community who is being looked at wrongly here. As we get to learn more about the facts and circumstances of this case, it’s very clear there are some conflating memories going on,” Carlson said.
The defense also requested Felch be electronically monitored by a private company, Alaska Defendant Monitoring, and asked that Felch’s wife be considered as a third-party custodian.
Palmer Assistant District Attorney Melissa Wininger-Howard said that was not allowed because there is a “100% chance the state would subpoena her for trial.”
Wininger-Howard took no issue with a private electronic monitoring company, but asked Judge Woodman to keep the bail as set.
“He needs to have significant cash on the line to provide an incentive for him to stay away from kids while he’s out on bail, as well as an incentive to appear in court because he is facing 25 to 35 years,” she said.
Judge Woodman approved the private monitoring company to track Felch’s whereabouts if released on bail, but the judge kept the bail at $150,000, citing concern Felch may be a flight risk because of his age.
“The presumptive sentence is one that is likely to be a life sentence. Therefore the risk of flight is significant,” he said.
Felch’s defense attorney asked for a 10% partial posting of the bail, which the judge declined.
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