Bail Bonds and the Alleged Lake Stevens Mini-Mart Child-Groomer

If you aren't already familiar with the February 2022 article by

Full Police Report of Alleged Lake Stevens Mini-Mart Child-Groomer, please click the title and take a moment to read it as I share my concerns relative to the Bail Bond of this case.

The accused (who is considered innocent until proven guilty) is relatively new to the area and does not have a Washington Driver’s License. The article references a 700-page police report and that law enforcement acted with a warrant during their investigation. This leads me to believe there is probably substantial evidence of the accused’s guilt.

Unless cash bail is ordered, someone accused of a crime is generally able to “post bond” by giving 10% of the bond amount to a bail bond agency. Bond amounts do not materialize out of thin air; the Prosecutor’s Office suggests a bail or bond amount, explains why that amount is appropriate under the circumstances, and a judge makes the ultimate decision what the bail or bond amount should be.

I am not able to access any of the court records of this case, likely due to the nature of the charges and the age of the victim, so I cannot tell if the Prosecutor asked for a higher bond which may have been reduced by the judge. Or if $50,000 is what was suggested. Either way, 10% of $50,000 is $5,000. The accused posted bond and was released awaiting trial.

Consider the seriousness of the allegations, and the fact that law enforcement had prior judicial approval for part of the investigation. Consider credit card limits, the emergence of crowd funding, and the existence of groups whose mission is to have people released from jail pre-trial. Is $5,000 really that big of a hurdle? Is that the limit we place on the worth or safety of our children? For me, that's a firm, "No."

As your Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney, I will do everything in my power to protect our children by requesting realistic bond amounts while considering the 10% threshold and ensure that those released will have enough skin in the game that they will likely stay away from victims and witnesses and will appear for trial.

My commitment is to be transparent with the people of Snohomish County by reporting the bonds I have requested and what is actually imposed by the courts. Transparency and accountability through each stage of the process is what our citizens and visitors deserve. If you agree, I ask for your vote. Thank you.

Brett Rogers

for Snohomish County Prosecutor (R)

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