Even though a judge granted a Skowhegan man charged with sexually assaulting a girl under 12 years old a supervised release pretrial contract, over the objections of prosecutors, the Somerset County sheriff’s chief deputy denied the man’s application for release..
Neal Teixeira, 30, was charged with five felonies for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 12 and possessing child pornography.
The day after a judge set Teixeira’s bail at $10,000, or $1,000 if he agreed to the strict supervised release of a Maine pretrial contract, Somerset Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster denied Teixeira’s application.
“The crimes Teixeira is charged with are egregious enough that for the safety of the community he stay incarcerated,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster said he respected the judge’s decision but ultimately decided that Teixeira should not be allowed back into the community without posting $10,000 cash bail.
“That’s why we have different branches of government,” he said. “The judge doesn’t need to justify the decision to us. I’m not going to let someone charged with those crimes back into the community. It causes more harm than good.”
The pretrial contract would require Teixeira to comply with the Somerset County Community Corrections Program, which was initiated a few years ago by Sheriff Barry DeLong as a way to cut down the expense of housing suspects awaiting trial in jail who may not be a threat to the public.
When Teixeira was arrested in February on a charge of possession of sexually explicit materials depicting someone under 12 years old, he entered the pretrial contract program.
He was still free when he was indicted a week ago on four more felony charges, including two class A gross sexual assault charges,
District Attorney Maegan Maloney said it was wrong to grant Teixeira the opportunity to be back on the streets.
“That should not be ordered when someone has a class A sex assault case against them,” Maloney said Wednesday, after a judge had granted Teixeira the opportunity for the pretrial contract.
In March, when Teixeira was first put into the pretrial program, Lancaster said the program is for nonviolent offenders who might want to work at their jobs while awaiting trial and is not for people charged with serious crimes.
With the denial of the pretrial program, Teixeira is being held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail at the Kennebec County jail.
In addition to the two gross sexual assault charges and the two charges of possession of sexually explicit material, Teixeira also was charged with unlawful sexual contact with someone under 12 years old, a class B felony.
Teixeira is scheduled for an Aug. 5 court appearance at Kennebec Superior Court.