KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Truman Medical Center-Lakewood employee accused of sexually assaulting an elderly patient in long-term care requested and received a bond reduction on Wednesday in Jackson County Court.
Judge Mary Weir agreed to reduce Luis Soliz's bond to $25,000, which can be secured with 10 percent surety of $2,500.
Soliz is charged with sodomy and 1st degree sexual misconduct, stemming from a July 30 incident in which a nurse reportedly walked into a resident's room and observed Soliz, a medical care technician, having inappropriate contact with the patient.
An individual who works at the hospital, who does not want to be identified, told FOX 4 the suspect tried to force the patient to perform a sex act. The victim is not verbal and has limited use of arms and legs.
Prosecutors argued that the first-degree sodomy charged against an incapacitated person who cannot speak should warrant a cash-only bond. They had initially requested a bond of $75,000 cash. Soliz's attorney argued that he has no prior criminal history, is married with six children and worked at Truman Medical Center-Lakewood, 7900 Lee's Summit Rd., for seven years.
Judge Weir restricted Soliz to house arrest with electronic monitoring and GPS. As part of his release on bond, he cannot work in health care or have contact with victims. She also determined he can go back and forth to his new manufacturing job in Greenwood, Mo., as long as he's monitored by GPS.
Sean O'Brien teaches law at the UMKC School of Law. He said of Soliz, "He is accused of a terrible crime. He’s at the front end of a process that’s designed to make a reliable determination about whether or not these charges are true. There is a lot of middle ground between prison and just being absolutely free. It’s a balancing act and there are lots and lots of concerns that enter into the equation."
O'Brien doesn't know the specifics of the case but said there is a lot for a judge to consider, including the cost of housing an inmate, which he said is $30,000 - $40,000 a year, per person. He said, "A judge views a jail cell as an expensive commodity funded by the taxpayers and will use it when it’s necessary, but if there is a reasonable alternative, they will choose that."
Soliz is due back in court Sept. 6.