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Ex-firefighter confesses to touching teen

Bond consigned to sex offender registry for life

POSTED: June 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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John A. Bond

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A judge rejected a former longtime Hall County firefighter and paramedic’s request for special first-offender treatment in a sexual battery case Thursday, instead requiring that the defendant register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Hall County Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin sentenced 41-year-old John A. Bond to five years probation after he pleaded guilty to improperly touching a 15-year-old girl not related to him who was staying in his home in 2006. The sentence was negotiated between Bond’s lawyer, Dan Sammons, and prosecutors with the Hall County District Attorney’s office.

But Gosselin, after hearing that there had been prior allegations against Bond, would not allow him to enter the plea as a first offender, which would have meant the sex offender requirements were dropped after five years.

Assistant District Attorney Juliet Aldridge said had the case gone to trial, the state would call a witness who would testify that Bond had improperly touched her when she baby-sat for his family 10 years ago.

The judge heard from the baby sitter’s mother, who said the family never reported his daughter’s allegations to authorities because they "tried to do a very Christian thing" in resolving the incident.

"Two years ago, when (the victim) levied her charges, we realized we made a very grave mistake," the mother of the baby sitter said. "What it spoke to my daughter is that if you look the part and act the part, you can get away with a lot of things."

Aldridge said the victim in the case that was resolved Thursday also alleged that Bond molested her during a family vacation in Florida. Bond is not facing child molestation charges, which bring lengthy mandatory prison sentences upon conviction. He had no felony convictions prior to his guilty plea Thursday.

Bond worked as a paramedic and firefighter for the Hall County Fire Department since July 1986, Fire Chief David Kimbrell said. Bond was placed on administrative leave with pay when he was arrested in November 2006 and was fired on May 23 because of the pending charges, Kimbrell said.

Bond did not address the court during sentencing.

Aldridge told the judge that the state agreed to a plea deal that included no jail time in order to spare the two young women from testifying.

Bond’s sex offender conditions include restrictions on where he can live — he cannot live within 1,000 feet of a place where children congregate — as well strict prohibitions on contact with minors other than his children.

The judge agreed to an amendment that would allow Bond to administer aid to minors as a paramedic in emergency cases, but he must notify his probation officer in those instances. Bond is not currently employed as a paramedic.

Gosselin said the facts of the case, Bond’s age and the likelihood that he might come in contact with minors again influenced her decision to require lifelong sex offender registration.

Afterward, Bond’s attorney said that "to saddle someone with sex offender registry conditions their entire life is punishment that exceeds the crime."

The victim’s guardian told Gosselin earlier in the hearing that Bond didn’t deserve first-offender status because "this isn’t first offense he’s perpetrated against young girls."

"If he’s allowed to be an EMT, young adolescent girls will be in danger again," she said.



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