After an hour-long hearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court with arguments from the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office and defense attorneys, the million dollar bail for Joe Walker and Dr. Andrew Bourne of Mammoth Lakes was reduced to $750,000. At 3pm Tuesday, both defendants remained in the Santa Barbara County Jail.
According to Santa Barbara Deputy DA Mary Barron, Walker stands charged with 6 counts of unlawful contact with a child with the intent to commit a sexual crime and with one count of actual 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 sexual crime.
Deputy DA Barron told Sierra Wave that declarations were submitted to the court and arguments made over bail. Asked if she argued that the defendants were flight risks, Barron declined to elaborate on the details of attorneys’ arguments “in fairness to both sides.” She did say that the investigation continues. KEYT TV News in Santa Barbara reported that Barron told the judge she expects to file additional, related charges soon against Walker and Bourne.
Ms. Barron also said that another hearing is set for January 19th and a preliminary hearing for January 25th. At that time, Barron will present the DA’s evidence to back up charges against Walker and Bourne.
Meanwhile, in the community of Mammoth Lakes, citizens have raised questions about who will provide surgical services at Mammoth Hospital since Dr. Bourne is unavailable. Lori Ciccarelli, Community Services Director for the hospital, said that right now other surgeons are covering for Dr. Bourne. She said legal counsel is “reviewing the contracts and will be making recommendations in regards to whether or not Dr. Bourne’s privileges will be suspended.” Officials are continuing to meet and discuss this issue.
Mammoth parents have wondered if Dr. Bourne will retain his seat on the Mammoth School Board. School Superintendent Rich Boccia referred us to School by-law 9223 which addresses what may create a vacancy on the board. The reasons include death, inability to perform for the remainder of a term, no longer a resident of the district, felony conviction, or resignation. Officials did say that at this time there is no vacancy on the Mammoth School Board.
Even though police had reported that alleged crimes in this case occurred in Mammoth Lakes, the case against Walker and Bourne will be exclusively handled by Santa Barbara Police and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.