The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the U.S. District Court's order denying bail for former Whispering Palms School principal Thomas Weindl.
The Ninth Circuit judges ruled that U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona correctly found that Weindl did not rebut the presumption under the U.S. Code that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure his appearance and the safety of the community.
“We therefore affirm the district court's pretrial detention order,” according to two Ninth Circuit judges. One judge dissented.
The judges said they reviewed the district court's factual findings concerning risk of flight and danger to the community under a “differential, clearly erroneous standard.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Weindl in June 2012 on charges of using a government-owned laptop to review child pornographic materials.
An indictment was subsequently filed charging the 57-year-old Weindl with two counts of receipt of child pornography and two counts of access with intent to view child pornography. Weindl pleaded not guilty.
His trial is scheduled to start on Nov. 27, 2012, at 9am.
Weindl appealed to the Ninth Circuit the federal court's order for his detention pending trial. He sought for the Ninth Circuit's reversal of Manglona's detention order issued on July 17.
Manglona in her order stated that after conducting a detention hearing under the Bail Reform Act, she concludes that facts require that the defendant be detained pending trial.
Manglona found probable cause to believe that Weindl has committed an offense for which a maximum prison term of 10 years or more is prescribed
The judge determined that Weindl has not rebutted the presumption that no condition will reasonably assure his appearance and the safety of the community.
In the U.S. government's motion, the prosecution cited that as indicated in computer monitoring reports, Weindl searched for and accessed almost 200 websites containing images of child pornography.
The prosecution said several of the searches conducted and websites accessed specifically reference “eleven year old girl” and “twelve year old” engaging in sexual conduct.
The prosecution added that Weindl also searched for images depicting the violent sexual abuse of children.