RACINE, WISCONSIN — In an unusual move, a Racine County judge on Thursday agreed to release a man from jail almost 16 months after he was arrested on accusations he repeatedly molested two girls for years.
George Gutierrez, 48, has been jailed since mid-April of 2011, charged with more than a dozen crimes including repeated sexual assault of a child and child enticement. The charges were filed last year after two girls told investigators he allegedly forced them to perform oral sex on him and he touched them inappropriately, according to his criminal complaint.
Until Thursday evening, Gutierrez had been held in the Racine County Jail on a $75,000 cash bond.
But Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz said he was re-evaluating the bond terms because it was such “a very unusual request:” Gutierrez wanted to be released without paying the money so he can visit a neurologist at a Chicago-area hospital. Four tumors were found to be growing more than anticipated and he might undergo brain surgery to remove them.
“I have no problem with whatever hospital you go to for a neurological evaluation,” Gasiorkiewicz said during Thursday’s hearing. “The reason the court is granting you leave is so that you can attend to your medical needs.”
Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak said he didn’t object to modifying Gutierrez’s bond.
Gasiorkiewicz agreed to grant Gutierrez’s release from jail Thursday evening so he can receive medical treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and possibly at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
But Gasiorkiewicz said additional terms include being required to live with his mother, Otilia Anderson, in Amery, Wis.; being placed on global positioning system monitoring; and having no contact with the victims or any underage children. Gasiorkiewicz also banned him from being in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Walworth counties except while en route to the Chicago area for medical appointments.
Gutierrez’s mother — who maintains her son’s innocence and said the girls’ accusations are made up — said his next appointment is today in Chicago.
Anderson said the three bone growths on top of his brain aren’t cancerous, but they don’t yet know about the fourth, located at the base of his skull.
Defense attorney Mark Nielsen said the masses — which Gutierrez has had for a while — were found to be growing more than expected after he received a CT scan in December because another inmate assaulted him.
According to Racine County sheriff’s reports, the attack occurred at 8:15 a.m. Dec. 13. Gutierrez sat on a bench and didn’t strike back during the alleged attack. An inmate punched Gutierrez in the head at least five times, correctional officers reported.
His next hearing is Oct. 25.
If convicted on all 14 counts, Gutierrez could face a maximum of 290 years behind bars.