Judge denies bail reduction in sexual assault, abuse case with 13 victims
A judge has denied a reduced bail application from a man accused in a sexual assault and abuse case with more than a dozen alleged victims.
A grand jury indicted Solomon Tomas James, 28, on 24 felony charges in March 2018, including nine counts of first-degree sexual assault and 10 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
The Anchorage District Attorney's Office originally said the charges against James stem from alleged sexual misconduct committed between 2012 and 2017 against 12 victims, but Monday Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Monsma said there are now 13 separate victims.
James has been in custody for more than a year with bail set at $250,000 cash appearance and $50,000 cash performance. A previous proposal to lower the bail amount was also denied, but defense attorney Michael Moberly noted that James was briefly released for bereavement and there were no issues.
The latest request would have allowed James to be released after paying $40,000 cash. He would be on house arrest with 24/7 electronic monitoring by Alaska Pre-trial Services and two third parties to accompany him on passes for approved medical and legal appointments. Moberly also said he would not have access to the internet, only a landline telephone.
"I think that this is a fairly tight and appropriate proposal and I’d ask that you accept it," Moberly argued at a bail hearing in November.
Monsma said the state opposes any bail changes and considers James a flight risk. He also said the state has received word that James might be violating court conditions while still in jail.
"Victim D.L. informed the DA’s office on Nov. 20 of this year that the defendant is in contact with at least one of his victims in violation of court orders. We will be pulling jail calls and we will be looking into tampering charges and unlawful contact," Monsma countered.
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton also heard from two victims at the November bail hearing who were participating via telephone. They said they believe James is a predator and "he'll find a way."
Wolverton continued the bail hearing for Dec. 5 in order for the state to follow up and determine whether James has had contact with any of the victims.
Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Betsy Bull said the prosecutor assigned to the case has been out of the office, but the state is still looking into the allegations.
Wolverton sided with prosecutors, ruling that bail is appropriately set in James’ case at $300,000, and denying the application.
James is one of the victims of Anya James, who was convicted of child endangerment related to an assault, kidnapping and child endangerment case involving several of Anya's foster children.
At her sentencing hearing in November 2017, he said, "This state is messed up, the system is messed up, the fact that it took six and a half years to even get here is messed up. There is no justice."
The case against Anya was filed in 2011, but took more than six years to resolve. She was initially charged with 16 felonies, all dropped by the state in exchange for a guilty plea, to two lesser, class C felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the outcome of Solomon James' bail hearing on Dec. 5, 2019.
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