Police: Alleged abusers did not violate terms
Published 4:24 pm Saturday, January 24, 2009
Officers have not been able to validate a report that at least one of the alleged abusers of residents at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea violated a condition of her release Wednesday following her arraignment, Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels said Friday.
According to police reports, area resident Georgiann Quinn contacted authorities before 9 a.m. Thursday morning stating she had reportedly seen a group of teenagers — including at least one of the young women charged as an adult in the case and at least one of them charged as a juvenile — eating at the China Buffet restaurant on Main Street.
She specifically indicated Brianna Broitzman, one of the two teenagers charged as adults, was in attendance.
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This was of concern because conditions set for both Broitzman and co-defendant Ashton Larson included no contact with any co-defendants in the case, whether they were charged as an adult or as a juvenile. That means, according to court conditions, that Broitzman and Larson are not allowed to interact with each other or the four other young women charged as juveniles.
Broitzman and Larson face charges ranging from mandated failure to report suspected abuse to assault in the fifth degree and criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult. The four juveniles face charges of mandated failure to report suspected abuse.
During the arraignments for Broitzman and Larson on Wednesday, Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab set the bail at $6,000 without conditions or $2,000 with conditions.
Both girls had posted $2,000 bail by 5 p.m. that day.
Winkels said officers interviewed Quinn and two other people who were at the restaurant. Quinn was not able to say she was 100 percent certain that Broitzman was at the restaurant, and the other two people said outright she was not at the restaurant, he said.
“We can’t take it any further unless we have more investigation,” Winkels said. “It’s done at this point unless we can verify more data.”
Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said if the report is established to be true, ordinarily there would be a motion to bring the person back into court and reconsider conditions of release.
He said if one of the teenagers was found to be violating her conditions of release, there is a “possibility” that she would have to go to jail. The No. 1 alternative, however, is maximum bail or some other term and condition.
Winkels said violations of conditions happen more often than what people may think, but because “this is a high profile case and people saw what the conditions were, it’s very unique.”
He said in his opinion some things going on in Albert Lea regarding this case have turned into a “witch-hunt.”