Citizens outraged at judge’s move to reduce bond

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 18, 2004


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish residents are outraged that a 29th Judicial District court judge reduced the bond of a Marrero man arrested recently for performing a sexual act in the presence of two underage girls.

Judge Kirk Granier set a $150,000 bond on Justin J. Hardy, 17, 1112 Michael St., Marrero following Hardy’s Oct. 11 arrest for obscenity.

The following day Granier released Hardy on a $20,000 personal surety to Hardy’s mother.

Public Information Officer Capt. Pat Yoes said Hardy allegedly stood in an open front doorway of a Mimosa subdivision home, placed his pants around his ankles and performed a sex act, while he watched two juvenile females ride by on their bicycles.

When the adolescents passed the house, Hardy allegedly closed the door and continued to stare at the girls, aged 13 and 14, through a window of the residence, relayed Yoes.

When the girls rode past the house again on their way home, they allegedly saw Hardy performing the same sexual act as he stood in the garage area of the residence.

Yoes said the girls fled the area and told their parents, who then notified the sheriff’s office.

Hardy was arrested at 8:30 a.m. for the alleged Oct. 4 incident.

According to Yoes, Hardy was visiting a friend of a friend when the alleged incident took place.

“He took off and we tracked him down. We knew he did not live in the area. He was identified from a photo line-up,” said Yoes.

A spokesperson with Granier’s office said calls were continually coming into the judge’s office and into the district attorney’s office asking why Hardy’s bond had been reduced. She said Granier could not respond to the numerous incoming calls because he was out of town.

Prosecutor for Division D, Kim McElwee said she was not aware a bond reduction had been filed.

“For the judge to reduce the bond, he must have felt the reduction was sufficient. The personal surety will hold Hardy’s parents accountable if he does not show up for court,” said McElwee.

According to McElwee, Hardy does not have a prior arrest

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record in St. Charles Parish, but acknowledged she did not know if he had one elsewhere. She conveyed she did not know whether or not Hardy had a juvenile record and asserted she would look into the matter.

“The judge considers the evidence, the seriousness of the crime and the harm posed to a community when he/she sets the bond,” said McElwee. “The judge told Hardy he could not come back into St. Charles Parish.”

McElwee added, “Hardy was arrested for obscenity. This crime carries a 0-3-year sentence and a $2,500 fine – the same punishment as a $300 theft. It’s not considered a serious crime.”