The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein



Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not out of jail now

Not long ago, I mentioned a case where a convicted sexual predator was granted bond while his appeal of his conviction awaited hearings.

The former teacher had been convicted on 13 counts involving the prolonged sexual abuse of a young boy. The judge in the case granted bond, allowing him to return to 'the free life' with little more than a ankle monitor, and not even a order to remain away from children. Everyone was outraged.

Now, Aaron Mohanlal's case has been again given the 'once over', only this time the judge actually did something right, something that should have been done a year ago at the time he was convicted.

When jurors returned 13 guilty verdicts in April 2007, the boy's father pulled him close. The boy wiped at tears. The prosecutor put her hand to her tear-stained face.

It was the end, they thought, of a four-year ordeal.

Instead, they were all incensed and distraught three months later to see Gold grant Mohanlal bond and allow him to be released later with an electronic ankle bracelet.

Mohanlal registered as a sexual predator through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site, listing a Port St. Lucie address.

When CNN carried a story about Mohanlal on its Web site a week ago, child and victims advocates were outraged. Gold received a slew of angry calls and letters.

Gold revisited the case after prosecutor Anita White filed a motion noting no liens had been placed against the properties securing Mohanlal's bond and one of the properties was in foreclosure. Prosecutor Ellen St. Laurent argued Friday that some of the properties were valued at much less than Gold had initially been told. The prosecutors also voiced concerns that Mohanlal might victimize another child.