The San Jose police officers union says its members feel like they’re just spinning their wheels out on the streets after twin brothers arrested on child porn charges were released without bail.
Clifford and Clinton Pappadakis, both former coaches at San Jose schools, were released Monday on their own recognizance, police said. The 47-year-old twins were arrested days apart following months-long investigations that led detectives to find them in possession of dozens of child porn images on devices at their San Jose homes.
Bail for child porn allegations typically is $25,000. But a judge ordered the Pappadakis twins released without bail, or on their own recognizance. It's unclear if the ruling is related to bail reform, but the release is angering the cops.
"I cant believe it," said Sgt. Paul Kelly, who represents roughly 1,000 officers as president of the San Jose Police Officers Association. "They should be put back in custody."
The twins face lengthy prison sentences if convicted of their alleged crimes, but on Monday, the former coaches were out on the streets, awaiting trial without having to post bail.
Bail is a monetary guarantee the suspects will make their court appearances. In the case of the Pappadakis brothers, the judge ordered Clifford released on supervised own recognizance and Clinton on regular own recognizance.
Clifford Pappadakis, a former teacher and coach at Willow Glen Middle School, was arrested Feb. 14. He had been seen taking photos of female students at the school, police said. Clinton Pappadakis was arrested Feb. 20.
"Predators against children, and then 24 to 72 hours later, they’re out on the street?" Kelly said. "We feel hopeless in some cases."
The coaches' release comes as the county considers bail reform, where advocates say the system unfairly incarcerates poorer people because they can't afford to pay bail. So they stay behind bars until their day on court.
"The money bail system by definition is economically biased," said Raj Jayadev of Silicon valley Debug. "If you have money, you can buy your freedom."
It's unclear if bail reform played a role in the judge’s decision to release the Pappadakis twins. But police officers say it doesn’t pass the smell test.
"I think you better start asking the victims of these crimes what (they) think about reform, our community and how safe they feel about this reform," Kelly said.