BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Catherine Taylor on Monday afternoon imposed a $1 million secured bond on a Los Alamos man currently in custody at the Los Alamos Detention Center following his arrest on a charge of criminal sexual contact with a child under 13. Jacob Schaufler, 36, was arrested Saturday, March 11 and remained in custody in the Los Alamos Detention as of Monday afternoon. If convicted of the third degree felony charge, Schaufler faces up to six years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Judge Taylor during Monday’s first appearance for Schaufler asked prosecutor Sara Schlack if the state had a position on conditions of release. Schlack asked for an appearance bond, no contact with the victim or any witnesses in the case and that Schaufler not be allowed to return to his home. Schlack said the state did not intend to file a motion for pretrial detention at that time.
Judge Taylor said she had very serious reservations about setting conditions of release for Schaufler even with a secured bond.
“I do believe the defendant poses a threat to himself at the very least,” she said. Schlaufer is currently under suicide watch at the detention center, a detention officer told Judge Taylor.
After questioning Schaufler about his current state of mind, Judge Taylor told him he would be released on a secured bond of $1 million and that he would be responsible for 10 percent of that. She said he would be released only when he posted the bond.
“If for whatever reason you are unable to post that bond and you remain in custody, you are entitled to a hearing at which you are also entitled to be represented, to review the bond amount and any conditions,” Judge Taylor said.
A $1 million bond has reportedly not been imposed in Los Alamos Magistrate Court for some 20 years.
Judge Taylor listed the other conditions of release, including no possession of firearms of dangerous weapons, no contact with his wife and children, avoid all contact with the alleged victim or anyone who may testify in the case. Schaufler was placed on pretrial supervision subject to random drug and alcohol testing. He will be required to maintain employment or if unemployed to seek employment and he iwill not allowed to leave his home before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Judge Taylor asked Schaufler if he thought he would be able to pay the $100,000 for the secure bond and he responded that he doesn’t have that much cash available. Judge Taylor set a hearing at 3 p.m. Tuesday in case Schaufler is unable to come up with the funds for the bond.
As of Monday afternoon Schaufler had not retained an attorney to represent him in the case. Due to his income, he does not qualify for a state public defender.