An 80-year-old Williams man charged with committing a lewd contact upon a child under 14 was released on his own recognizances last week while he awaits court proceedings.
Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson released Rafael Gomez Gomez from the Colusa County Jail on May 3, in keeping with the California Supreme Court decision that it is unconstitutional to keep people behind bars simply because they cannot afford bail.
The Judge, however, released Gomez on the order that he will not be allowed to return to his apartment or live anywhere in Colusa County while he awaits trial so as not to have chance contact with his two alleged victims.
The Colusa County District Attorney’s Office charged Gomez on April 28 with a felony charge that could keep him in prison up to eight years, if he is convicted, or up to 15 years if more than one victim is involved.
Gomez was released to live in Meridian, in Sutter County, after a family member agreed to take him into her home.
Gomez will only be allowed to enter Colusa County to attend court appearances or keep appointments with the Colusa County Probation Department as ordered, Thompson said.
Gomez has pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is scheduled to appear in court May 24 for the setting of a preliminary hearing.
Meanwhile, the Judge has ordered him to obey all laws, abstain from alcohol use, and to submit to alcohol testing.
Gomez was also ordered not to leave California. §