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Cain Velasquez Denied Bail In Alleged Attempted Murder Of Man Accused Of Molesting Relative
Ex-UFC fighter Cain Velasquez has been charged with 10 felonies related to the Feb. 28 shooting involving the car carrying a man charged with molesting one of Cain's young relatives.
A judge has denied bail to a former UFC fighter charged with chasing down the man arrested for allegedly molesting his relative.
Cain Velasquez, 39, faces 10 charges in the Feb. 28 shooting in San Jose, California, including one count of attempted premeditated murder, one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, three counts of assault with a firearm, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle and one count carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony. At a Monday hearing, Santa Clara County Judge Shelyna Brown denied him bail, saying the "risk was too great" for him to be free pending trial, according to SFGate.
Velasquez's lawyer, Mark Geragos, had argued for a high bail to be set, according to USA Today, stating that the fact that the man accused of molesting Cain's relative had not received bail should weigh in favor of some bail.
The judge refused to consider that argument.
"Mr. Geragos, this court is not juxtaposing one case against another," Judge Brown said, according to USAToday. "That is not my job. My job is to deal with the case that is before the court."
The judge conceded in a statement that she'd read the 37 letters of support submitted to the court in support of Velasquez's bail petition, as reported by TMZ, and was aware of a number of Velasquez's supporters in the courtroom.
She was not swayed by either.
"The facts are clear here that this was an alleged act of violence, according to laws — following an individual, chasing an individual for some miles, ramming individuals with his vehicle, and shooting at the individuals at point-blank range," the judge said in her statement denying Velasquez bail, according to USA Today. "It is clear to this court that there is clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that would result in great bodily injury, not just to the named complaint witnesses in this case, but to Santa Clara residents at large."
"This case involves allegations of extreme recklessness to human life, ramming a vehicle in the middle of the day where our citizens are out driving, going about their business, and shooting out of a car at other individuals, which is reckless by any standard," she added. "Anyone could’ve been injured. Anyone could’ve been killed."
"With that said, this court is making a ruling that the risk is too great," she concluded.
In a press conference after the ruling, Geragos condemned what he views as the court's double standard in bail setting.
"Is there anybody out there who finds it to be beyond the pale that a father was not consulted when they released the perpetrator back into the public with zero-dollar bail, yet they are holding Cain on no bail?" he asked the assembled members of the media. "This is why people are disgusted, and rightfully so, with the criminal justice system."
Velasquez will not be eligible for another bail hearing unless prosecutors add or drop charges, Geragos' office said in a statement to ESPN.
Prosecutors said that Velasquez went to the family home of Harry Goularte, 43 — the man charged with molesting Cain's relative — in San Martin on Feb. 28. He then proceeded to follow the family's Chevrolet Silverado truck, which was driven by Goularte's stepfather (who ESPN identified as Paul Bender) and carrying Goularte's mother. The home, which the sheriff's office said in a statement is on Powder Horn Court in San Martin, doubles as the day care center at which Harry Goularte allegedly committed the sexual assault.
Velasquez allegedly chased the truck for 11 miles, both ramming it and shooting at it — starting at Cochran Road and Butterfield Boulevard in Morgan Hill, just west of state route 101 — prosecutors said in a press release. Goularte's 63-year-old stepfather, Bender, was struck once but expected to survive. The chase ended at Monterey Highway and Bailey Ave in San Jose, police announced at the time; that is 12 miles from the family's day care center. Velasquez was arrested at the scene.
Prosecutors said in their statement that Harry Goularte had been arraigned on felony child molestation charges on Feb. 25 and initially was given $50,000 bail. A judge later released him from custody on his own recognizance without bail over the objections of prosecutors. He was to be confined to his home, forced to stay 100 yards away from any child under 14 and to wear an ankle monitor. He was on his way to get the ankle monitor at the time of the incident.
The day care is shut down temporarily as a result of the investigation, according to the sheriff's office statement, though the terms of Goularte's release would prevent either him from living there or the day care from operating until after his trial.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said in their statement last week that Velasquez's relative was 4 years old.
Court documents reviewed by ESPN allege that the boy told a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy that Goularte had taken him into the bathroom of the day care center — where Goularte lives — and touched the boy's genitals. Goularte, the boy told the deputy, told him not to tell anyone and said it had happened "100 times."
The boy also told investigators that he'd seen Goularte take other children into the bathroom.
Goularte denied anything untoward, according to the court documents, claiming he'd once helped a child who had their pants on incorrectly. His mother told police that she didn't believe the allegations against her son.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office had asked any other parents whose children may have had contact with Goularte — who was not employed by his mother's business — to call them at (408) 808-4500.