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United States v. Napoleon

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

June 14, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CURTISS RICKY NAPOLEON, Sr., Defendant.

          DETENTION ORDER

          Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge

         THIS MATTER comes on for hearing concerning the release or detention of the defendant under the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3142. The defendant was indicted on June 5, 2019 on two charges of Abusive Sexual Contact. (Dkt. 1).

         The government appears through Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo. The defendant appears personally and is represented by counsel, Assistant Federal Public Defender Gregory Murphy.

         The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office appears through United States Probation Officer Nick Bassett, and has filed (Dkt. 5, 11) a pretrial report, and supplemental report.

         IT IS ORDERED that the defendant: Shall be detained.

         The Court, having conducted a detention hearing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142, has considered all the factors in the Bail Reform Act. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e), (g) and finds that no condition or combination of conditions which defendant can meet will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required and/or the safety of any other person and the community.

         The Court reviewed the documents in the electronic docket for this matter, including the allegations in the Indictment, and considered the arguments and information presented during the hearing. The defendant is charged with two counts of Abusive Sexual Contact 18 U.S.C. § 2244(a)(5), 2246(3) and 1153. These charges do not trigger the rebuttable presumption of detention.

         There are four factors taken into consideration when determining whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community: 1. Nature and seriousness of the charges; 2. Weight of the evidence against the defendant; 3. History and characteristics of the defendant; and 4. “Nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)(1)-(4). The Bail Reform Act recognizes that release should be the normal course, and “detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception.” United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 755 (1987). In evaluating whether the defendant poses a serious potential for dangerousness, it is not necessary for the Government to produce, or for the Court to rely on, evidence of prior convictions for violent crimes. United States v. Hir, 517 F.3d 1081, 1091-92 (9th Cir. 2008); United States v. Rodriguez, 950 F.2d 85, 88-89 (2d Cir. 1991).

         Applying the first factor, charges against the defendant are very serious. The Indictment (Dkt. 1) alleges two counts of Abusive Sexual Contact against the alleged victim - his granddaughter - a minor under twelve years of age. Sentencing for this can be for any term of years including life imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 2244(a)(5).

         The second factor, the weight of the evidence, is difficult to assess at this stage, and the Court does not rely heavily on this factor.

         The third factor, history and circumstances of the defendant, shows an extensive criminal history and failures to appear before the court along with historical allegations that suggest that the defendant is not trustworthy and is a danger to the community.

         The defendant, age 65, has lived in Western Washington his entire life. He has multiple health issues that limit his mobility, but according to testimony of his first cousin, Ms. Joseph, he is still capable of making the 20-30 minute drive (each way) from his home to Ms. Joseph's home to help take care of Ms. Joseph's mother.

         The pretrial services supplemental report (Dkt. 5) gives the criminal history of the defendant. It extends from 1975 to 2008 beginning with multiple indecent exposure charges, replete with assault, drug, and DUI charges, and noting seven instances of failures to appear. While the last charges are 11 years ago, the repeated wanton disregard for the law gives a preponderance of evidence that the defendant's appearance cannot be reasonably assured.

         Additionally, there have been allegations of past incidents of sexual abuse against minors ...


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