Judge Hugh Walker set Henry John Germain's bail at $1,080,000 for 15 counts of alleged child molestation today. Five women have brought charges against the 62-year-old Dublin resident, who up until his arrest was tennis director at Castlewood Country Club, and investigators still believe there could be more alleged victims.
Attorney Elizabeth Grossman of Berkeley, who is representing Germain, did not enter into a plea, saying she will file a formal demurrer at the next hearing. The demurrer would challenge the legitimacy of the charges. Grossman said the alleged victims came forward with their information after the time allowed in the state of California, known as the statute of limitations. In California, the statue of limitations in child molestation cases is 10 years.
Grossman requested the judge set Germain's bail at $540,000, which she said was "enormously substantial." She argued that the main charges represented multiple incidents of molestation and the more specific charges against Germain would be included under the umbrella of those charges.
Judge Walker said he had never "bought into" that argument in his 24 years as a judge.
Grossman further argued that the judge's bail amount is high for someone with no prior criminal history and in such good standing in the community. When asking the court audience who was in attendance to support Germain, about four people stood up. She said that hundreds if not thousands of people support him and several people have called her who would be in attendance if it wasn't for their jobs. She went on to say that he is a father of three who has custody of his children three days a week.
District Attorney Ronda Tyson disagreed with Grossman's assertions, adding that it would be appropriate to allow no bail, but it would be sufficient to go according to the bail schedule. Her recommendations, she argued, would protect children in the community from someone she considers to be a serial child molester.
Grossman argued that there is a "huge difference" between the allegations of Jane Doe 1 and the other alleged victims.
Tyson said that in her years as an attorney she has seen more heinous accounts of child molestation, but not someone who had apparently committed so many acts on so many victims. She said it is possible that Germain acted as a predator and set up good relations with others to help his case.
Defending Germain, Grossman told the judge that part of setting bail is based on the flight risk of the accused, which she believed is not a factor.
Walker said if Germain is out on bail and facing life in prison after committing a very serious crime, "places like Aruba look pretty nice."
Grossman said she doesn't believe her client will face life in prison.
According to Germain's attorney, a stepfather has offered the equity on his home, set at $1.2 million, as a property bond.
In addition to setting the bail, Walker said that if Germain were bailed out, he must turn over his passport, stay in California, continue to not come in contact with anyone under the age of 18 unless with an adult present, and not come into contact with Jane Does 1, 2, 3, 6 or 7.
Grossman said she will ask the judge to reconsider the bail at the next hearing as more facts come in.
Germain will next appear in court at 9 a.m. Sept. 30 at the Pleasanton courthouse on Stoneridge Drive.