Judge increases bail for alleged child molester
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | January 09,2013
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Springfield man who is now facing charges that he sexually abused eight young girls in recent years had his bail increased by another $10,000 on Monday after police discovered he had moved to Westminster without getting permission.
Anthony Chase, 33, was arrested Friday and spent the weekend in jail after Springfield Police Officer Matthew Wilson went to the residence where Chase had last reported he was living on Main Street to see whether Chase was in compliance with a court-ordered 24-hour curfew that was a key condition of his pre-trial release.
After Wilson determined that Chase was in fact no longer living in Springfield, Vermont State Police troopers tracked Chase down in Westminster and arrested him without incident later Friday afternoon.
During his court appearance in White River Junction on Monday, Chase was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of violating his conditions of release, the second such charge he has picked up in less than a month’s time for not living where the court thought he was, and he was also arraigned on another felony charge for allegedly molesting what would be his eighth child victim.
The latest charge came as the result of an interview that was conducted by detectives in November with a 10-year-old girl who said that she had been staying with her mother at a campground in central Vermont when “Tony” had touched her inappropriately on several occasions when her mother had stepped outside to smoke cigarettes. The girl, who was crying during the interview, told investigators that Chase had allegedly told her not to tell anyone what he was doing.
During Chase’s hearing Monday, a defense attorney rattled off a long list of relations that Chase has in Vermont and suggested that, and his lack of any previous criminal history, made him unlikely to flee the area.
Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney David Cahill argued that it was those very ties to relatives and friends that Chase allegedly used to gain access to several of his alleged victims. Cahill suggested that Chase is now “couch surfing” and he pointed to the lack of any supporters for Chase in the courtroom on Monday as he asked Judge Robert Gerety to hold him without bail until his trial, noting that Chase now faces a potential “triple digit sentence” if he were to be convicted.
After a technical discussion of a recent decision by the Vermont Supreme Court, which narrowed the range of reasons that a defendant can be held without bail in Vermont, Judge Gerety decided instead to impose an additional $10,000 in bail upon Chase, stating from the bench, “the preponderance of the evidence is that the defendant has no place to live and no stable residence.”