Bail Conditions Set for Suspects in UMass Rape Case

Four Pittsfield, Massachusetts teenagers were arraigned Monday on rape charges in the alleged sexual assault of an eighteen year old female UMass Amherst student. Bail was set at $10,000 for each of the suspects, along with an extensive list of bail conditions.

If any of the four Pittsfield men charged in the case are able to make bail, they’ll have to adhere to a set of eighteen bail conditions, as set by Judge Mary Hurley. Conditions include staying over 100 yards from the victim at all times, refraining from drug and alcohol use, a daily curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., twice weekly probation reports, and 24/7 GPS monitoring. Three of the defendants are 18-years-old, the fourth is 17. None of them are UMass students.

Marissa Elkins is a criminal defense attorney based in Northampton. She says the bail conditions are more extensive than she thinks is necessary in the case, given the defendants are scheduled to return to court in December. She says coupled with the $10,000 bail, the conditions are especially harsh.

“Many times my clients will agree to a lot of conditions that I think might be difficult for them to really comply with, or cause problems for them, but they’re so willing to do anything to get out and they don’t have the bail money. But to have a steep bail and these conditions? That’s pretty tough.”
 
Elkins says round-the-clock GPS monitoring is a particularly strict condition, and could be costly to the state.
 
“It’s a lot of taxpayer money to do that monitoring, to put those devices on them. Sometimes they can be made to pay the cost of that, but oftentimes the taxpayers just wind up paying for it because the fees aren’t collected.”
 
The defendants are due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on December 10th.