Inconsistent Bail Amounts in Clarion County Questioned

thomas-curry-mugshotRIMERSBURG, Pa. (EYT) — Thomas Eugene Curry, 65, of Rimersburg, remains free on bond while awaiting trial on a slew of charges related to the alleged rape of a child in Rimersburg, Clarion County.

UPDATE: Curry Found Not Guilty on all charges

Curry was charged Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, in relation to the alleged rape of a child between 2009 and 2013. Clarion County District Magistrate Duane Quinn – who was the on-call judge that weekend – set Curry’s bail at $25,000, and Curry was released the next day after posting the bond.

“Based on the questions I asked of him (Curry), I made the decision to set his bail at $25,000 cash, and he was able to post that,” Quinn said. “It’s a right, not a punishment, and I’m not sure people always understand that.”

Nearly four months later, there continue to be rumblings within the local law enforcement community of perceived inconsistencies in bail amounts.

For instance, in a 2010 case, Brandon Lee Galford was charged with trying to arrange a meeting with a child he believed was a 13-year-old girl for the purpose of having sex with her. The “13-year-old girl” turned out to be an undercover officer with the state. Galford was arraigned in front of Quinn on $100,000 bail.

Also, Douglas Greenawalt – a New Bethlehem man who was charged with rape, soliciting sex, and having sex with a minor in 2014 – was assigned a bail amount of $100,000.

In a very recent Venango County, 34-year-old Lisa Marie Stahlman of Oil City is facing eight counts after she allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old boy at her home May 13, 2016. She was arraigned before District Judge Andrew Fish Sunday, May 15, with bail set at $250,000.

A local official who spoke to on the condition of anonymity believes low bail amounts are “more about who you know.”

The official pointed toward Curry’s political connections. He is the Board President of the Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library in Rimersburg and is also on the Zoning Hearing Board in the borough. Curry’s wife Pamela holds a seat on the Rimersburg Borough Council.

Curry, who is facing nearly 2,000 charges, is slated to appear at a Criminal Conference with Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron on June 1.

He remains free on the aforementioned $25,000 cash bail – an amount that Quinn is standing by.

“I had to be concerned that he would be where he needed to be in regard to his court appearances, and as far as I know bail has served its purpose in that regard,” said Quinn. “Before Curry was brought to my office for arraignment, I did not know him at all. I did recognize him from seeing him at community events, like the (Rimersburg Cookie Daze Festival), but I didn’t know him.”

“I had no idea his wife was on the borough council. The less I know, the more unbiased decisions I can make, and that’s the way I like it.”

“I didn’t know Thomas Curry from ‘Adam’,” Quinn said.

Before Curry’s June 1 meeting with Aaron, there is a bail hearing set for Wednesday, May 25. Curry’s attorney, Gary Gerson of Pittsburgh, made a petition for modification of bail May 3. The nature of the bail modification request is unclear.

Among the bail conditions in the case are that Curry has no contact of any kind with the alleged victim and not intimidate or retaliate against the alleged victim or any witnesses. As a standard court procedure, he must also provide any address change to the court within 48 hours.

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