WHITLEY COUNTY - A hearing has been set to allow defense attorneys to argue in favor of bond modifications for three of four men accused of raping an intoxicated woman at a Williamsburg motel in May.
Ronald Leas, 18, of Corbin; Benjamin Brock, 19, of Williamsburg; Michael Davis, 18, of Emlyn; and Ryan Davis, 18, of Emlyn; all appeared in Whitley Circuit Court for a pretrial conference Monday, where the issue of bond was raised before the court.
As of Monday's proceedings, Brock was out on a $10,000 cash bond and Michael Davis on a surety bond with electronic monitoring. According to Judge Dan Ballou, neither had been served with an indictment warrant on their charges, which he said is required. In addition, the bonds placed on all four men were carried over from their Whitley District Court cases and had not been formally addressed in circuit court.
Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Bowling argued that Michael Davis' surety bond was inappropriate given the nature of the charges.
"Getting bond on a signature just isn't enough," said Bowling.
Though all four bonds remained unchanged from their district court cases, Leas and Ryan Davis are currently being held under $100,000 cash bonds. Those bond amounts were placed on them by a district court judge after the pair was arrested last month on charges of intimidating a witness in the legal process. The circuit court later amended the pair's bonds to reflect that amount also.
Ryan Davis' attorney, Caleb Pittman, objected to the change, stating that the court cannot change a defendant's bond without a hearing according to the Federal Rules for Criminal Procedure. Judge Ballou said the change was made because Ryan Davis and Leas received criminal charges while out on bond.
"A change can only be made if there is clear and convincing evidence," said Pittman.
"The clear and convincing evidence is that the defendants violated their conditions while out on bond," Ballou responded.
Following brief arguments from defense attorneys and prosecutors, Judge Ballou agreed to set a hearing for Friday at 9 a.m. to allow for the issue to be discussed further. The hearing will address bonds for Leas, Michael Davis and Ryan Davis specifically.
Bowling said he intends to provide witnesses at the hearing.
Michael Davis and Brock were both taken into custody following Monday's proceedings.
Brock was arrested for contempt of court after failing a drug test while in court, allegedly testing positive for marijuana. Brock will remain in jail until Friday's hearing and will again be released on his previously-posted bond.
A follow-up pretrial conference has also been set for Sept. 10 for all four men.
Police began an investigation into the alleged incident after a female victim contacted police to report that she had been sexually assaulted by the four men at an area motel on the date listed in the indictment. The victim allegedly told police that she was heavily intoxicated to the point of incapacitation at the time the alleged incident occurred.
Leas turned himself in May 23 after learning that police were searching for him. After providing statements to police, he was arrested and charged with first-degree rape and video voyeurism. Brock and the Davis brothers were taken into custody May 25 after police obtained arrest warrants for them.
All four men were individually indicted by a Whitley County grand jury in July, formally charging them with first-degree rape and video voyeurism. They all currently remain jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center.