Nevada City man denied bail reduction in elder sex abuse case
The attorney for a man charged with two counts of having committed a lewd act on a dependent adult as a caretaker argued unsuccessfully for a bail reduction in a Thursday hearing in Nevada County Superior Court.
Joseph Albert Linhares, 79, listed as a co-owner of Banner Crest Care Home, was arrested in early March on charges that he sexually abused a 94-year-old woman at the facility in the 12000 block of Cascade Way.
Linhares initially was booked into the Nevada County Jail on a $250,000 bond, noted his attorney, Thomas Johnson. That bond was lowered to $100,000 with conditions when Linhares was arraigned on March 6, Johnson said.
“There are no more victims, there are no more allegations,” Johnson told Judge Scott Thomsen. “He is not a danger. This is an 80-year-old man with no record.”
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Johnson acknowledged the alleged conduct was “not good,” and was ongoing, but said it occurred for a period of only three or four minutes. He also argued Linhares’ age caused him to do “crazy things.”
Deputy District Attorney Helenaz Moteabbed Hill disputed his assertions, telling Thomsen, “We simply don’t know there are no other victims.”
Hill also took exception to Johnson’s remarks about the suspect’s age, adding, “That argument is completely unconvincing and completely offensive.”
Thomsen noted $100,000 was the amount on the bail schedule, and did not find a change in circumstance to warrant a reduction.
Johnson deferred entering a plea for his client, instead asking for a “pre-plea report” that would outline Linhares’ potential sentence should he plead to the two counts. Linhares is set to return to court July 2.
Banner Crest remains open, state records show, although it is facing a possible revocation of its license.
The state Department of Social Services operates the Senior Care Licensing Program, which licenses and monitors residential care facilities for the elderly and continuing care retirement communities.
According to the licensing website, Banner Crest self-reported the incident involving Linhares on Feb. 26. On March 5, an Expedited Revocation Order for revocation of the license was delivered to the facility, records state. No further information was available Thursday.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at email@example.com.
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