Reduction of rape suspect’s bond met with concern

By David Knopf/Richmond News

A judge reduced bond Wednesday for a suspect in the alleged 2012 rape of a Richmond minor from $100,000 cash to $50,000 cash or bond surety.

Joshua Serle Clevenger remained in custody Friday, but the reduction in bond could win his release should a bonding agent and insurance company guarantee Clevenger’s appearance for scheduled court dates.

Judge David Miller agreed to reduce the bond following arguments by Clevenger’s public defender, Melinda Troeger, and Assistant Prosecutor Sarah Hartley. Miller was in court Friday and under judicial ethics isn’t permitted to comment on cases or his decisions, other than what he says on the record in court.

His decision to reduce bond did, however, drew the immediate attention of both the alleged victim’s mother and the prosecution.

“We argued that we had a preliminary hearing and that the victim has some serious issues about this,” Hartley said in a text message after the proceedings.

Prosecutor Danielle Rogers also opposed the reduction, her office said, fearing possible impact on the victim and potential witnesses in the case.

The victim’s mother was also upset that Clevenger could be released, but chose not to go on record in an interview. Shortly after the alleged July 2012 rape took place, the mother said her daughter feared for her safety if she even discussed the incident with police. The mother told the paper then that her daughter had been traumatized and run away from home for two days to live in the woods with a friend.





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