Bail bondsman faces contempt charge, accused of not reporting bond violations
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - A South Carolina bail bondsman could face a charge of contempt of court for failing to report alleged bail violations of a man who later pleaded guilty in an assault case.
Reginald Illery, of Illery’s GPS Monitoring Service, is accused of failing to alert authorities that a man out on bond on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct had violated the conditions of his bond numerous times.
Bowen Turner, now 19, was originally arrested on Jan. 29, 2019, and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Bamberg County, court documents state. A judge granted bond for Turner with the condition that he wear an ankle monitor. That requirement, however, was removed on April 11, 2019.
Turner was then arrested on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in an unrelated case on June 12, 2019, in Orangeburg County.
The judge in the Orangeburg County case, the Honorable George McFaddin, set a $100,000 surety bond on Aug. 5, 2019, with several conditions that included home detention and GPS monitoring.
Included in the court order was the stipulation that any and all violations of home detention must be reported to the Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office or the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office within 24 hours.
Court documents state that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division learned Turner allegedly violated the terms of his bond “on nearly 50 separate occasions since November 2021.”
“[The] defendant’s unlawful excursions include 13 trips to Linkrick Golf Course, trips out of the state of Georgia, trips to the mall in Columbia and even trips to the cemetery where one of his victims was laid to rest after her untimely death,” court documents state.
Illery was “strictly required” by McFaddin’s bond order to report each violation within 24 hours, documents state, “yet none were reported.”
Court documents allege Illery “willfully failed to comply with these conditions, and instead collected money from [Turner] while he was traveling to golf courses, shops, malls, restaurants and another state.”
A court hearing has been scheduled for Illery, who must show why he should not be held in contempt of court for failing to report the bond violations.
That hearing will be held in Orangeburg County on May 9, documents state.
Illery declined to comment on the case Friday afternoon.
The family of Dallas Stoller, who accused Bowen Turner of sexual assault in 2018, says prosecutors refused to move forward with her case after her death.
Brette Tabatabai, Dallas’ sister, says this motion filed will hopefully prevent suspects like Turner from getting a pass while out on bond.
She commended first circuit solicitor David Pascoe for the move but says there’s still a long road ahead and more blame to be shared.
“That is one step forward, but the fact of the matter is, there are way more players in that,” Tabatabai said. “There’s SLED and the Solicitor, David Miller, who did not pick him up like they were supposed to and hold him to a hearing. There’s Brad Hutto, who, once David Miller let him know that he had broken bond, also did not do anything or turn him in.”
The state of South Carolina argues this case is just one example of the issues in the bail bonding industry where owners are incentivized to not report those they are charged with monitoring.
That’s because suspects pay these companies for ankle monitoring, and if they are reported and go back to jail, they lose money.
The first circuit solicitor’s office has asked the court to harshly punish Illery’s “willful failure” to ensure compliance in the future.
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