Lower bond asked

A jury trial scheduled for later this month for a Vandalia man charged with 10 counts of child pornography charges is being delayed as pretrial issues continue to be resolved.
One of those issues is a request from the attorney for Ryan J. Koontz, Shin Cho of St. Louis, Mo., to have Koontz’s bond amount reduced.
Cho filed on Monday a motion seeking to have Koontz’s bond lowered from $300,000 to $150,000, meaning that the amount that Koontz would be required to post would be reduced from $30,000 to $15,000.
The motion was argued by Cho and Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison during a pretrial hearing on Tuesday afternoon. At the close of the hearing, Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge Don Sheafor took the matter under advisement, with a ruling to be announced in the near future.
In his motion, Cho states that Koontz has posted the required $30,000 in bond money, and that he has complied with all conditions of his bond.
Cho contends that bond of $300,000 “is oppressive, and does not accurately reflect (Koontz’s) financial ability.” By posting bond, Cho argues, Koontz has “exhausted virtually all of the funds available to him through family and friends, thereby hindering his ability to prepare an adequate defense.”
Cho states in the motion that a lower bond “would not create any new opportunities for (Koontz) to flee or otherwise violate the conditions of bond.”
The motion states that money released as a result of the bond amount would be released to his attorney and “would be applied toward the necessary expenses and eliminate the need for future delay.”
Also during Tuesday’s hearing, Sheafor set another pretrial hearing for 1 p.m. on Oct. 17.
According to court records, a jury trial for Koontz had been set for Sept. 22. A new jury trial date has not yet been set.
The arrest of Koontz in November 2014 part of Madigan’s “Operation Glass House,” a statewide initiative designed to “apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography.
Two of the 10 counts filed against Koontz are Class X felonies which allege that he disseminated “a depiction by computer or other similar visual medium or reproduction” a child that he “reasonably should have known to be under the age of 13” engaged in sexual conduct.
That offense is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000, with multiple sentences to be served consecutively.
The other seven counts are Class 2 felonies that allege the possession or dissemination of child pornography.
The Class 2 offense listed in those charges is punishable by up to seven years in prison for each count, with multiple sentences to be served consecutively. The maximum fine for that offense is also $100,000.


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