KIRAN: Bond modified for man accused of holding teen hostage, raping him

KIRAN: Bond modified for man accused of holding teen hostage, raping him

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - UPDATE

A hearing was held Friday, May 25 in Mark Russell's case. He's accused of holding a teenage boy hostage for four days and raping him. A motion was originally filed to revoke and/or increase Russell's bond after a judge set his bond at $13,000.

At the hearing Friday, Russell's bond was modified from the original amount to $285,000 due to the serious nature of the charges.

"The court took the appropriate action and made the appropriate information that was provided and placed in evidence. The courts ruling is fair and just and protects the public's interest and that of the defendant," said District Attorney Hillar Moore.

If Russell does post bond, several restrictions will apply, including:

  • Immediately notify the court and the DA and private counsel
  • Defendant to be private monitored with GPS device to be worn at all times
  • Defendant to be on house arrest for 24 hours per day and leave only with notification to court DA and private counsel or a medical emergency (including if he did it to himself)
  • No contact with the victim, the victim’s family, or relatives of the victim
  • No out of jurisdiction travel without court approval
  • Dr. Blanche’s evaluation indicated he was not a danger to himself now and the court acknowledges that, but indicated if there was a post assessment recommendation that the defendant was to comply with any recommended treatment

Mark Russell, 55, was arrested Thursday evening after being ordered by Judge Don Johnson to be re-arrested on an outstanding bench warrant and evaluated by the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Russell was arrested April 30 in Baker for allegedly taking a 17-year-old boy hostage for four days and raping him.

Baker police said Russell got to the teen by making his Ford Crown Victoria look like an unmarked police car. The teen got in the car under the assumption that he was an officer. After he was held against his will for four days, according to police, the teen escaped and went to Baker authorities.

Russell was arrested on April 30 and charged with first-degree rape, false imprisonment, and impersonating an officer.

Judge Richard "Chip" Moore set his bond at $13,000 and he was out of jail by Tuesday morning. The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office filed a motion on Thursday asking Judge Chip Moore to consider revoking or increasing Russell's bond due to the severity of the charges against him.

The hearing was originally set for May 8, but that morning, Russell attempted suicide by slitting his wrist and overdosing on medication, according to Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn. A bench warrant was issued for Russell for missing that court date.

Chief Dunn said Russell's friend found him in a tub and he was rushed to a hospital. The hearing was postponed to May 17.

Russell got a different lawyer and his new lawyers were present in court before Judge Don Johnson. They asked for Russell's presence to be waived because he remained in a secure location after his attempted suicide.

The hearing was supposed to be to revoke Russell's bond completely or increase the original $13,000 bond. Instead, Judge Johnson ordered that Russell be re-arrested by the state and taken to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where the prison would evaluate him and turn those results over to the judge. Judge Johnson did not revoke or increase the bond, only ordering his arrest and evaluation for now.

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In 2015, Russell was charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile for an alleged similar event. However, as WAFB first reported on May 1, District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office would be dismissing the charges filed against Russell in 2015.

Moore sent the following statement to WAFB explaining his decision:

This case has been pending in our office. The case involved a delayed disclosure of a 16-year-old victim who alleged that he/she engaged in consensual sexual intercourse with the defendant, Mark Russell, while they were 16. The Police Department investigated the case and the victim's statements to law enforcement were recorded and witnesses by other officers. Additionally, law enforcement received a written statement from the victim. In reviewing the recording, it does not appear that the victim was forced or pressured into saying anything about Mark Russell.

Russell was re-arrested Thursday evening for missing his bond hearing and booked into the Ascension Parish Prison as a fugitive.

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