A San Francisco jury acquits Gregory Bolds, a suspect who had been in jail for five months over a felony assault in May this year.
According to Bolds’ representative Deputy Public Defenders Anthony Gedeon and Gabriella Rodezno, Bolds told the police on the scene that he was fending off a sexual assault. However, the officers never investigated his claim of self-defense.
The jury deliberated for less than one day before acquitting Bolds and finally sending him home.
“The law says that a person is innocent until proven guilty, Bolds was presumed guilty every step of the way until we were able to get in front of a jury,” said Gedeon, whose attempts to get Bolds released from jail before trial were denied by Judges.
As a result of being kept in jail, Bolds lost his job and one of his sons had to drop out of college to work to help pay his rent.
On May 25, police were called to a residential building after a neighbor heard a commotion inside an apartment and heard someone yell for help.
Police spoke to Bolds who remained at the scene and told an officer that he was fending off a sexual assault by a person he met earlier that night.
The officer failed to tell their superior and his claim was never investigated. Instead, Bolds was arrested and accused of assault.
The neighbor who called the police testified at trial and said he was suspicious of Bolds, a Black man, because he had never seen him before.
But, he also admitted that lots of visitors he doesn’t know often come and go from that building.
The alleged victim in this case, who suffered bruising from the incident, refused to testify.
“We thank the jury for their service and for seeing that the state’s evidence was based on an incomplete investigation and relied on the testimony of a racially biased witness,” said Rodezno.
“After several unjust months of incarceration, Bolds’s right to a trial ultimately secured his release, highlighting the extreme importance of a speedy trial right,” said Public Defender Mano Raju, whose office continues to fight to protect this right for felony cases and restore the right for people charged with misdemeanors. “I commend the defense team for giving Mr. Bolds a chance to tell his side of the story that had been ignored by police and prosecutors.”
The defense team included Deputy Public Defenders Anthony Gedeon and Gabriella Rodezno, Investigator Collin Olsen, and Paralegal Susan Larsen.