ELKINS - Bond was modified Friday for an Elkins man facing four felony counts of sexual assault after police said he had sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Jacob Brandon Williams, 20, along with his attorney, Chris Cooper, asked that the $75,000 cash bond be modified and also waived his right to a speedy trial to allow for a mental status evaluation to be performed.
"I don't believe he can effectively help me with his defense at this time without this evaluation being done, and we have spoken off the record with counsel and I think this is in his best interest," Cooper said.
"We believe that the bond, at this point, he can't reach or make in the cash only status that it's taken," Cooper added.
Cooper called to the witness stand Karen Lompert, whose family Williams has been living with for the past two years, to testify about the environment Williams would be in if he made bond and was released to the home.
"He is a friend of our family, he lives with us. We met him a couple years ago when he became a student at D&E. He needed some friends and some support and we offered to open our home to him to help him out," Lompert replied.
When asked by Cooper about the size of the family, Lompert indicated nine people other than Williams live at the residence, including minors.
"The magistrate is going to want him not to have access to anyone under the age of 18 and it sounds like you have somebody under the age of 18 in your house. Is there going to be somebody in the house at all times that would not allow him to be alone with anybody?" Cooper asked
Lompert said, "There is usually always somebody of adult status in that household, about any given time. If we are not there we are all out as a family. If he needs to make sure there is somebody there we will make sure that my husband or myself or another responsible adult (is present)."
Randolph County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Lori Haynes said the state objected to Williams residing in the home, as minors live there.
"The state certainly is concerned about the fact that this family has, not only children but daughters of a young age. As the court knows the allegations here involve a girl at the tender age of 13. The state can not in good conscious recommend that he be released into the custody of this family, that being the allegation...," Haynes said.
"If the court is inclined to modify the bond to include surety the state would ask that the court put some terms and conditions in place, which would be a psychiatric evaluation, just based on the proffering of counsel; that he be confined on home confinement with GPS monitoring; that there be no Internet, no cell phone - I don't think a land line is an issue but I think a cell phone is an issue with regard to Internet access on a cell phone; no contact with anyone under the age of 18; and no direct or indirect contact with the victim. But once again, after hearing that this family has young daughters in their home the state can not in good conscious recommend that," she added.
Magistrate George M. Riggleman, who presided over the hearing, said he was willing to modify the bond to include surety but unwilling to place him into the Lompert home. He also ordered him to have a bed at a mental health facility before being released.
"I am willing to modify the bond to include cash, surety or property. I am not willing to place him in that home because of the minor children...," Riggleman said. "I would modify the bond to cash or surety with the condition that upon release there must be a bed already acquired in a mental facility. Upon his release he has to be on GPS monitoring at the mental facility. I want to know where he is at, at all times. No cell phone, no Internet, no contact with the victim and no contact with any juvenile under the age of 18.
"Bond is $75,000 cash or surety and he must already have a bed that he can go straight to," Riggleman said.
According to the criminal complaint, on May 13 the mother of the alleged victim spoke with Patrolman M.J. Sigley of the Elkins Police Department. She said on May 9 she was unable to make contact by phone with her daughter, who had gone to Bluegrass Park in Elkins for a baseball game.
The mother said it was getting late in the evening and "it was not like the juvenile to not answer her phone," and that she "located the juvenile near the Bluegrass Park walking with a male subject identified as Jacob Williams."
According to the complaint, Sigley spoke with Williams on June 10 at the Elkins Police Department. Williams told Sigley he met the girl through a friend and "she was struggling with some depression and he helped her through it," and that "this was around the start of the 2013 school year."
Williams said he met the girl at church and then he "spent four and a half months homeless in Morgantown and had very little contact with the juvenile up until approximately two months ago."
According to the complaint, Williams said "he had met the juvenile a couple times at the baseball games at Bluegrass Park," and that "he has never touched the juvenile in any sexual or intimate way."
Sigley asked Williams if he would be willing to take a controlled voice stress analysis test with a Randolph County Sheriff's Office deputy. Williams agreed and took the test on June 22 but did not pass, the complaint states.
On June 16, the Children's Advocacy Center in Elkins conducted an interview with the juvenile in which she admitted to having sexual intercourse with Williams on two separate occasions, police said.
The juvenile reportedly told authorities "the first time having sexual intercourse was approximately sometime in Jan. 2014 (sic) at Bluegrass Park and the second time was approximately sometime in March 2014 in the garage of her mother's residence," the complaint states.
The juvenile also said "she had performed oral sex with Williams on two separate occasions," and that "the first incident was in Jan. (sic) at the time of the first sexual intercourse and the second time was sometime in April or May 2014 at the Third Ward School playground area," according to the complaint.
Also in Randolph County Magistrate Court Friday:
Arbogast is being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond.