from the Superior Court, Third Judicial District, Anchorage,
Trial Court No. 3AN-19-02368 CR Kevin M. Saxby, Judge.
Fleming Burnell, Assistant Public Defender, and Beth
Goldstein, Acting Public Defender, Anchorage, for the
E. Bull, Assistant District Attorney, Anchorage, and Kevin G.
Clarkson, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.
Before: Allard, Chief Judge, and Wollenberg and Harbison,
Daniel Torgerson seeks appellate review of the superior
court's refusal to modify the conditions of his pretrial
bail release. Torgerson argues that, at his first bail review
hearing, the superior court failed to conduct an independent
review of his bail conditions, and instead improperly
deferred to the bail conditions previously set by the
district court at Torgerson's first appearance.
agree with Torgerson. We therefore remand Torgerson's
case to the superior court and direct the superior court to
conduct an independent review of Torgerson's bail
early March 2019, the State charged Torgerson with two counts
of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. The State alleged
that, four years ago - when Torgerson was sixteen years old -
he performed fellatio on his three-year-old cousin and caused
his cousin to perform fellatio on him.
was arrested and brought before District Court Judge Jo-Ann
Chung. At this first court appearance, the court presented
Torgerson with the charges against him and appointed the
Public Defender Agency to represent him.
court then addressed bail. The prosecutor asked the court to
set monetary bail in the amount of a $25, 000 cash or
corporate appearance bond and a $25, 000 cash performance
bond, and to require that Torgerson be subject to electronic
monitoring through the Pretrial Enforcement Division.
Torgerson, through his newly-appointed attorney, agreed to
electronic monitoring but requested monetary bail in an
amount of a $500 cash performance bond.
district court imposed the non-monetary conditions agreed to
by the parties: namely, house arrest with electronic
monitoring and a bar on contact with the alleged victim or
other minors under sixteen years old. But, without any
explanation, the court set monetary bail at an amount higher
than that requested by the prosecutor: a $50, 000 cash or
corporate appearance bond and a $50, 000 cash performance
Torgerson's indictment, Torgerson's attorney
requested a bail hearing, pursuant to AS 12.30.006(c). This
was Torgerson's first bail review hearing.
Torgerson's attorney requested that the superior court
impose a monetary bail of a $5, 000 cash or corporate
appearance bond and a $10, 000 cash performance bond, in
addition to house arrest with electronic monitoring.
Court Judge Kevin M. Saxby presided over the hearing. At the
hearing, Torgerson presented his proposal. He noted that he
had stable housing in a residence with no minors, steady
employment, and no prior criminal history, and that he was
willing to submit to house arrest with electronic monitoring.
The State opposed Torgerson's proposal. The prosecutor
argued that bail had been "meaningfully set" at
Torgerson's district court ...