At last report, Joe Walker, 48, and Dr. Andrew Bourne, 46, of Mammoth Lakes remained in the Santa Barbara County Jail, pending a hearing on Tuesday with a request for bail reduction, according to news reports. The two men face charges that allege sex crimes with a 14-year-old Santa Barbara girl.
According to the Mercury News, Walker and Bourne entered pleas of not guilty during their arraignment hearings on Friday. According to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, the two will appear for a hearing on bail reduction or release on their own recognizance on Tuesday. According to the Santa Barbara DA’s office, Walker faces 6 counts of unlawful contact with a child with the tent to commit a sexual crime and 1 count of commission of a lewd or lascivious act on a child of 14 or 15. Bourne faces 8 counts of unlawful contact with a child with the intent to commit a sex crime.
The two men were arrested last week and booked at the Mono County Jail under $1 million bail each. They waived extradition and were transferred to Santa Barbara. Walker, son of long-time businessman and community supporter Sam Walker, is also described as a businessman. Dr. Bourne has headed up vascular surgery at Mammoth Hospital and filled a seat on the Mammoth School Board.
Since crimes allegedly occurred in both Santa Barbara and Mammoth Lakes, it is believed an investigation would take place in Mammoth. Police Chief Dan Watson had confirmed that he, Santa Barbara Police and Mono District Attorney George Booth had met last Thursday.
Police said that the Santa Barbara investigation began in September of last year when suspicious emails sent to a teenage girl were discovered and reported to police. Officers said they recovered 1,000 emails which were used to obtain arrest and search warrants.
Since we last reported on this case, the Mammoth School District issued this statement:
“We are shocked by the recent situation in our community. This news is devastating to the entire Mammoth Lakes community, and as we come to grips with these allegations, the superintendent is asking that we all focus all of our attention on the students and staff.” The statement goes on to say that “The investigation is clearly the responsibility of law enforcement; maintaining uninterrupted service to our students is the responsibility of our District, and that is where we are trying to focus our energy. These allegations can shatter a person’s confidence in leadership, so our goal right now is to help this community continue to believe in our leadership and our commitment to the children of Mammoth Lakes.”
According to Santa Barbara News Press, the charges against Walker and Bourne include a special allegation that the offenses are too severe for the defendants to serve their sentences in county jail if they are convicted.