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Bail Raised to $75,000 for Convicted Molester

January 11, 1986

A San Fernando Superior Court Judge on Friday declined to jail a convicted Granada Hills child molester before sentencing Feb. 28, but bail was increased from $7,500 to $75,000.

Mark D. Yerkes, 28, will have until Friday to post the increased bail. If he is unable to, he will be taken into custody, Judge Robert D. Fratianne said.

Yerkes was convicted by a jury Dec. 26 of sexually assaulting an emotionally disturbed 11-year-old boy assigned to him by Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles.

He faces up to 20 years in state prison on three counts of sodomy, three counts of oral copulation and three counts of lewd conduct with a child.

Because Yerkes' attorney, Howard Price, was not in court at the time of his conviction, Fratianne waited until Friday to hear arguments about whether to take Yerkes into custody.

Price said Yerkes should be allowed to remain free until his sentencing because he does not associate with children.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth Loveman, however, said Yerkes was "a danger to our children." He said the victim, now 13, has tried to kill himself since the assaults and is now in a private West Los Angeles home for emotionally disturbed youngsters.

In reaching his decision, Fratianne said it is unlikely that Yerkes will fail to appear for sentencing because, despite being free on bail since his arrest in November, 1983, he has shown up for all previous court hearings.

Yerkes was charged with molesting the boy in October and November, 1983, court records showed. Yerkes' first trial last year ended in a mistrial.

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