A Baton Rouge judge has allowed a man just convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl to be released from jail to care for his sick mother.
Earl Coleman, 49, was convicted by a jury last week of aggravated rape. He now faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced on June 1.
When Coleman requested to be released on bond until sentencing, prosecutors asked Judge Trudy White to set the bond at $500,000. However, Judge White set the bond at $10,000.
Typically, a person convicted of such a heinous crime would be held in jail until sentencing. Coleman posted bond and is now living down the street from where his victim lives.
EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore says this decision is “disheartening” as they objected to any post-conviction bond, however, a judge has legal authority to grant bond to someone convicted of a crime.
We’re not in a particularly strong period for judicial performance in Louisiana, given that earlier in April a federal judge in Lake Charles was pulled off the bench for alcoholism. But there are drunk judges, and then there are judges who spring convicted child rapists on $10,000 bond to return to the same neighborhood where the victim lives.