Alleged “Out of Towner” Sex Predators Fight $1,000,000 Bail
SANTA BARBARA – January 12, 2012
Two Mammoth Lakes residents, Andrew Bourne, M.D., 46, and Joseph Walker, 48, were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on January 4th pursuant to a four-month investigation that traced suspicious emails to a local teenage female, and appeared in court on January 11th to win a reduction in their initial $1 million bail to $750,000 each.
Both Bourne—former chief of staff of Mammoth Hospital—and Walker, who works as a Mammoth Mountain ski instructor, were arrested under specific allegations of illegal communication with a minor to facilitate sexual activity with a minor, which took place over a two-year time span.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte, the teen victim’s parents alerted police to “more than 1,000 emails being received by their daughter”, which prompted the initial investigation leading to the arrests. Both men were arrested “without incident” in Mono County on Santa Barbara warrants and waived extradition, whereupon they were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, according to Sgt. Duarte’s office release to the media.
Both men, represented by high-profile criminal defense attorney Ron Bamieh, who argued for bail reduction before Superior Court Judge George Eskin, were accused by Senior Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron of having “nurtured a clandestine relationship” with their victim. In arguing against any bail reduction, Barron also noted in open court that the victim continues to “express affection” for both men and may be the victim of carefully-orchestrated brainwashing at the hands of the defendants.
Judge Eskin, who issued the original arrest warrants for both Walker and Bourne following his review of the emails presented in evidence, has sealed the warrants and the product of any police searches until such time as pleas are entered or the case is brought to trial.
During the bail reduction hearing, Bamieh presented to the court numerous character statements in support of his clients, which were accepted by Eskin, and notes as “strong in their support of Mr. Walker.” Barron, arguing strongly against any reduction in bail, and believing both men to have viable international contacts and that they may harbor ongoing intent to take their victim out of the country with them, urged Eskin to consider the fact that “both these defendants have alter egos” that allowed them to perpetrate their crimes.
Both Bourne and Walker are due to appear at a formal preliminary hearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court on January 25, 2012.