Crime

Tri-City child rapist to stay in jail during appeal

A judge refused Wednesday to allow the release of a convicted child rapist while he appeals a Benton County jury verdict that sent him to prison for at least 23 years.

Bob Trainor had sought an appeal bond on his conviction for two counts of second-degree rape of a child and one count each of first-degree rape of a child, first-degree child molestation and third-degree child molestation.

His attorney proposed that Trainor could be under supervision of the court or on electronic home monitoring while they argue the case and await a decision from the state Court of Appeals in Spokane, which could take at least a year.

But Superior Court Judge Vic VanderSchoor was quick to rule that the law "very clearly" says a defendant convicted of sex crimes, as in Trainor's case, do not qualify for bail pending appeal.

Seventeen family and friends attended the brief hearing to support Trainor. He has maintained his innocence, earlier telling the judge, "I did not do what I'm accused of."

Testimony during his trial indicated the sexual abuse occurred repeatedly over a nine-year period and began when the youngest of the five victims was about 7. All five girls testified before the jury.

The sexual abuse was revealed in January after the mother of one girl found a suicide note that the girl had written. In that note, the girl said Trainor had sexually assaulted her.

The other victims came forward after the note was found.

Trainor is an ex-Marine who worked at Hanford for 21 years and was a volunteer captain with Benton Fire District 1.

At sentencing in September, VanderSchoor handed down a minimum sentence of 23 years and four months, but Trainor could spend life behind bars because his ultimate release will be up to the state's indeterminate sentencing board.

Trainor's appellate attorney, Cassandra Lopez de Arriaga of Bothell, filed the notice of appeal at his sentencing.

That's when she requested his release pending appeal, saying Trainor "has strong ties to the community" and would live with family who would take responsibility for him. She also suggested he could surrender his passport to the court to "erase any minimal danger of flight" and said "there is no indication that Mr. Trainor's release will cause 'unreasonable trauma'" to the victims or their families.

Lopez de Arriaga said after Trainor's sentencing that he is in "great spirits," and that "even though the justice system did not serve him well" he is confident about the appeal. She predicted he will be granted a new trial and that the outcome will be "considerably different."

Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra cut Wednesday's hearing short by tellingVanderSchoor there was "no need to go through analysis" of the issue because the law doesn't allow for Trainor's release and a stay of his judgment. She asked him to deny the motion.

VanderSchoor agreed, saying the statute "seems pretty clear to me."

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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