Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bond denied for former Joplin teacher, concerns for safety of victim cited

(From Aug. 1, 2013) In his order, handed down this afternoon in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Judge David P. Rush cited concerns for the safety of the underage victim, a relative of Gastel's, as a reason for denying bond. Gastel, 39, resigned after teaching eighth grade science for one year in the Joplin R-8 system.

A complaint and supporting affidavit has been filed in this case alleging that the defendant committed an offense involving a minor victim. The affidavit supports a finding of probable cause that the offense charged was committed by this defendant. There exists therefore a rebuttable presumption that there are no conditions which would reasonably assure appearances at all proceedings, as required, and the safety of other persons and/or the community. 

Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, there are no conditions that the Court can impose that would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at all scheduled hearings and the safety of other persons or the community. 

The factors to be considered by the Court in determining whether the defendant should be detained pending trial are enumerated in section 3142(g). The Court has already noted that this case involves a minor victim. The evidence at the hearing established that the weight of the evidence against the defendant is overwhelming. 

Regarding potential danger to the community, the Court notes that in addition to the nature of the instant offense, the offense involved defendant’s (identifying information removed by this blog) and there are safety concerns for the victim. Based on all the foregoing, the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the 
defendant is a danger to the community. 

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the defendant be, and is hereby detained without bail. 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant be committed to the custody of the Attorney General or his designated representative for confinement in a correction facility separate, to the extent practicable, from persons awaiting or serving sentences or being held in custody pending appeal. The defendant shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity for private consultation with defense counsel. On order of a court of the United States, or on request of an attorney for the Government, the person in charge of the corrections facility shall deliver the defendant to the United States Marshal for the purpose of an appearance in connection with a court proceeding. 

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