Victim's family upset over low bond for suspected child molester

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A woman is upset over the change in law concerning bond for suspected child molesters. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A woman is upset over the change in law concerning bond for suspected child molesters. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
According to court documents, the suspect admitted to molesting the victim. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) According to court documents, the suspect admitted to molesting the victim. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Arizona Supreme Court last month overturned a 15-year-old law that allows no bond for accused child sex offenders. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Arizona Supreme Court last month overturned a 15-year-old law that allows no bond for accused child sex offenders. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Supreme Court last month overturned a 15-year-old law that allows no bond for accused child sex offenders. The law change affects one Peoria man who is facing seven felony counts for allegedly molesting a family member.

“He started doing this when she was 6,” says the girl’s mother who will remain anonymous for the protection and safety. The girl is now 11 years old.

We purposely left the name of the victim and the mother's identity out of our content in order to protect the victim. 

The mother told us her daughter came forward with the abuse allegations last year. That is when she reached out to police, filed a report and decided to press charges.  

She tells us she had told her daughter she didn’t need to worry about retaliation from the perpetrator because the law allowed for no bond for alleged molesters like hers. Now she said she’s facing the hardship of having to tell her daughter that the man who once molested her is out.

“My daughter is the victim here, and I'm upset that we are treating him like the victim because he's been in jail with no bond for eight months. So what? It took longer than that for him to molest my child," she said.

 In February, the Arizona Supreme Court decided unanimously that the law was unconstitutional and that it deprived alleged offenders of their due process of law.

“Arizona has a bill of rights, and of course the victim’s rights are very important, but they cannot supersede the rights of the defendant because it’s the defendant’s liberty that’s at stake,” says Jean-Jacques Cabou, the lawyer who presented the arguments before the five Supreme Court judges last November.

“The fact is you can’t have a blanket rule at the expense of every defendant,” adds Cabou.

This ruling is like a slap in the face for the mother we spoke with. Now, her daughter’s alleged molester is living about 1-and-a-half miles from the victim’s home and within walking distance to an elementary school.

"This isn't just about my kid at this point. You are letting this guy out, and he could victimize someone else in this time,” said the mother.

In a police report we obtained, William Stephen Smith admits to police that he abused the girl.

We also reached out to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to find out how many defendants the change in law allows for a bond to be posted. As of this publishing, we had not received that information. 

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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