By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A preliminary hearing for the young woman charged with the kidnap and rape of a five-year-old girl taken from her elementary school (see related story) has been postponed, and a defense request for bail has been shot down.
Defense attorney W. Fred Harrison Jr. had argued that defendant Christina Regusters has no previous criminal record, has denied the allegations in this case, and has ties to the community.
“None of the crimes that were committed against this precious little girl were at the hands of my client,” Harrison told KYW Newsradio today.
But prosecutor Erin O’Brien argued that the facts of the case — the well-planned kidnapping and brutal sexual assault of the child — demand high bail. O’Brien also says that prosecutors don’t want Regusters returning to the house where she lived and where the victim was taken.
“We have an objection to her not only going back to that residence, but to live with anybody that was living at that residence because they have not been excluded as suspects in this crime,” O’Brien explains.
Two adults and a teen living at the home were questioned by police (see related story) but have not been charged in the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, Thomas Kline, attorney for the little victim and her mother, believes a grand jury could further the investigation.
“The ability to put people under oath and ask them questions under penalty of perjury is huge,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
A status hearing for Regusters is now scheduled for late next month.