Bond reduced for N.C. man held on sexual assault charges

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Scott County Associate Circuit Judge Scott T. Horman granted a bond reduction Tuesday for an 18-year-old North Carolina man held in the Scott County Jail on sexual assault charges.

Jeremy L. Leatherman, 18, of Morganton, N.C., faces one count of sexual misconduct involving a child younger than 14.

Leatherman's bond, set at $10,000 cash only, was dropped to the same amount, but a surety, meaning he could be released after paying 10 percent. As of Tuesday night, Leatherman had not bonded out of the Scott County Jail.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at a Scott County residence just south of Kelso, Mo.

Leatherman admitted to inappropriate conduct with the victim during interviews with county investigators.

The victim's grandmother expressed concern because she said Leatherman was living near the victim at the time of the alleged incident.

One of the conditions of the bond states that Leatherman must not have any contact with the victim.

"We do see that happen sometimes," said Tammy Gwaltney, director of the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence, of the bond reduction.

Gwaltney said the situation places enormous pressure on the defendant to comply with the terms of the release and that law enforcement takes those conditions seriously.

335-6611, extension 245

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