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9/18/2012 - Occohannock Elementary's Siegrist denied bond - Click here to print this information

By Connie Morrison

Aaron Daniel Siegrist, age 36 and a fourth-grade teacher at Occohannock Elementary School in Northampton County, was in Circuit Court on September 17 to appeal the magistrates decision to deny his bond. Mr. Siegrist was arrested on September 11, 2012 on a charge of sexual abuse of a child under age 13. The alleged victim is five years old.

Citing Mr. Siegrist's many immediate and extended family members on the Eastern Shore and in Virginia Beach, defense attorney Thomas Northam sought to reassure Judge W. Revell Lewis III that Mr. Siegrist is neither a flight risk nor a danger to society. He pointed out the Mr. Siegrist is suspended from employment until the matter is resolved, and his pay is being escrowed, so his intent, if bond were granted, would be to work for his fathers home improvement company in Virginia Beach to financially provide for his wife and two young children. He concluded with the argument that the law has a presumption of no bond in such cases, but it also has a presumption of innocence.

Commonwealth's Attorney Bruce Jones had a different view, saying that in a case such as this, there is a huge incentive to flee, and added that the Commonwealth has a strong case, and it would be hard to identify a set of enforceable conditions that would guarantee appearance and protect society. He further assured Judge Lewis that the Commonwealth intends to move the case as quickly as possible.

Judge Lewis did not find that the presumption against bond was rebutted, and remanded Mr. Siegrist to the custody of Sheriff Doughty to await trial. Mr. Siegrist has the right to appeal that decision.

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