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Former prosecutor says low bond for convicted sex offender, accused rapist 'shocking'

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, May 01 2018 May 1, 2018 May 01, 2018 7:17 PM May 01, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ

BAKER - A convicted sex offender is out of jail after he was arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old victim and impersonating a police officer.

Baker Police are still investigating Mark Russell's last complaint which was filed with the police department recently. Monday, detectives spent the day canvassing the inside and outside of Russell's home, which had several surveillance cameras around the perimeter. 

Sue Bernie, a former sex crimes prosecutor for more than 30 years, has prosecuted Russell for sex crimes involving minors in the past and found Russell's bail to be shocking.

"Before I retired from the District Attorney's Office I prosecuted Mr. Russell on more than one occasion and he certainly was a sex offender who needed to be monitored," said Bernie.

Russell was released on a $13,000 bond for serious charges including rape, impersonating a cop, and false imprisonment.

"Well given that it's a sex offense case, it's quite shocking," Bernie said. "It seems to me a $13,000 bond is extremely low. And from looking at it from that perspective, it's not getting the proper seriousness to the crime and to the dangerousness of this particular individual."

According to court records, Russell's crimes date back to the early 90s. In 1999, Russell was released on parole and went back to prison on parole violations connected to news crime on children younger than 10 years old, the youngest victim was 3 years old. 

As for the low bond, Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn believes law enforcement did its job in making the arrest, now it's up to the justice system.

"We did our job to the best of our ability and all we can do is to continue to protect and serve. If anything, it'll make us work a little harder."

Russell is due in court next month for a 2015 case in which he was arrested for carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

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