Second request to reduce bail in Baez cases denied
An Olmsted County District Court judge denied a defense request to substantially lower bail for Julio Baez, a former Kasson police officer accused of sexual misconduct.
Judge Kathy M. Wallace denied the request Monday afternoon citing concerns about Baez’s ability to re-appear in court and public safety as well as Baez’s safety. Unconditional bail remains at $1 million, and conditional bail at $500,000.
Baez, 51, of St. Charles, was charged June 21 in Olmsted County District Court with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges stem from incidents that allegedly occurred in Olmsted County.
On June 29, Baez was charged in Dodge County District Court with one count each of first-degree, second-degree and third-degree criminal sexual assault, all related to offenses that allegedly occurred in Dodge County.
In July, Judge Dennis Murphy declined bail in the Olmsted County case.
On Monday, defense attorney Bruce Michael Rivers argued that at the time of his June 19 arrest, Baez was not fleeing but rather staying in a motel close to his 22-year-old daughter’s place of employment so she could care for his wounds.
Prior to his arrest, Baez was hospitalized in Rochester for treatment of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Baez’s daughter, Veronica Baez, testified that at the time of her father’s arrest he raised his hands and got on the floor when ordered despite his wounds.
She also testified that her father told her he “wanted to stay and fight this.”
Rivers requested for Julio Baez’s bail in both the Dodge County and Olmsted County cases to be reduced to $100,000 with conditions and $250,000 unconditionally. Rivers argued that Baez was in no condition to flee.
Eric Woodford, chief deputy Olmsted County attorney, argued against a reduced bail, saying Baez has multiple reasons to flee, including the possibility of decades in prison if convicted. Woodford also argued that a criminal referral has been made to Rice County, where Baez could face similar charges.
In handing down her decision, Wallace noted that the alleged crimes occurred when Baez was in a significant position of trust and authority in the community. Wallace also expressed concerns that if Baez was capable of inflicting nine gunshot wounds to himself, what would he be capable of doing to the alleged victims.
Baez’s next court date is scheduled for Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.