The attorney for a Florida man accused of raping and sexually abusing a child in 2006 asked for a bond to be set for her client Friday, alleging the charges are the result of revenge and mistaken identity.
Angi Simpkins asked that Mark Edward Debord, 49, of Sorrento, Fla., be released on bond and allowed to return to Florida pending trial. She said he had been living there with a sibling since January. Alternatively, she asked Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. to allow him to live with his mother in Marion.
Simpkins indicated Debord has significant medical issues, “no criminal history whatsoever” and was cooperative with police during the investigation. She also alleged law enforcement and Virginia Department of Social Services investigated one of the incidents for which he is charged several years ago and determined the allegation to be “unfounded.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor argued against bail, saying there is a presumption under Virginia law that in a rape charge there are no conditions of bond that would reasonably assure his appearance for trial or the safety of the community.
Fleenor said Debord has maintained throughout the investigation that the incidents leading to the charges were due to mistaken identity and revenge by the mother of the alleged victim. Nonetheless, he said it is up to the court or jury to determine what is correct.
Fleenor also alleged Debord told local police he would surrender himself to them Monday, July 22, but he didn’t show up that day so Florida authorities arrested him.
Simpkins said authorities misunderstood Debord. She indicated he told them he would get paid July 22 and then would then have the money to get to Pulaski on Thursday, July 25.
Judge Long told Debord he may have a good defense, but he doesn’t believe the evidence is sufficient to rebut the presumption of no bond.