From: Times-Standard News
By Will Houston 2/9/15
The preliminary hearing for the former Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office sergeant accused of sexually assaulting two women in 2013 was delayed until late March after a judge determined there were no available courtrooms to hold the scheduled hearing Monday morning.
In addition to no courtrooms being available, the hearing was continued because the defendant, Jason Scott Daniels, had waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 10 court days from the date of his Oct. 30 arraignment. Several other preliminary hearing cases on Monday’s schedule had not.
“Bottom line, there is no chance to proceed today for sure,” Judge Dale Reinholtsen said to the gathered attorneys on Monday.
Daniels, 41, pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual penetration by a foreign object and two other counts of sexual battery in October in connection with incidents reported to have occurred against a woman on Aug. 29, 2013, and another woman on March 13, 2013, according to a felony complaint filed by the district attorney’s office.
The two women — Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 — came forward to the district attorney’s office alleging that Daniels had “willfully and unlawfully” touched them on an “intimate part” while they were being unlawfully restrained by him, according to the court documents.
Previously working in both the Trinidad and Blue Lake police departments, Daniels joined the sheriff’s office in 2000. He was separated from his employment with the sheriff’s office on Feb. 19, 2014. Daniels had been placed on administrative leave on Oct. 17, 2013, the day before his arrest by district attorney’s office investigators. He posted $100,000 bail and was released.
Daniels was present in the courtroom Monday wearing a suit and was accompanied by his two Bay Area attorneys, Julia Fox and Steven Betz. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac represented the prosecution. Before the preliminary hearing was continued, Isaac told Reinholtsen that he was waiting on a subpoenaed witness who had failed to show up on Monday.
Having traveled from the East Bay only to have the hearing continued, Fox asked what options were available and whether a resetting date would be needed in order to secure a courtroom for the preliminary hearing. Reinholtsen said “resetting is like spinning the wheel,” with the availability of courtrooms being somewhat unpredictable.
After some discussion, both the defense and prosecution agreed to continue the preliminary hearing until March 24 at 8:30 a.m.