No Bail For Sex Offender Who Failed To Register

Christopher Dustrude, 25, Failed To Register As Sex Offender In SD County

A mentally disabled man who molested two family members in Montana was behind bars without bail Thursday in San Diego for failing to register as a sex offender.

Christopher Earl Dustrude, 25, pleaded guilty in Montana in 2004 to sexually assaulting two family members, a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, and was placed on probation and ordered to register as a sex offender, said Cascade County (Montana) Deputy Attorney Kory Larsen.

He was arrested last Saturday after coming to San Diego from Las Vegas, according to federal marshals.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serano successfully argued to U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Battaglia that Dustrude is a flight risk.

Serano said Dustrude violated protective orders in 2008 and 2009 in Montana and failed to show up for sentencing in that state last month after pleading guilty to failing to register as a sex offender.

"He just does not follow direction very well," the prosecutor told the judge.

An attorney for Dustrude said the defendant is developmentally disabled, but could be granted bail and sent to a group home or halfway house so he can be monitored while his case is pending.

But Battaglia said Dustrude should remain in custody because there were no assurances he would make his court appearances if bail were granted.

The judge said the lack of a concrete plan to house Dustrude in an off-site facility was also a factor in denying bail.

A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 17.

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