A judge on Thursday denied a request for a modified bond from a man accused of assault, battery and multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Defense attorney Cassy Zeigler told Ellis County District Judge Blake Bittel her client, Nicholas Kruse, posed no threat to society and was not a flight risk from further court dates. She said he has a vehicle and is able to obtain work so should be allowed to be released either on supervised probation or an own recognizance bond.
Reduced bond, while acceptable, would still place a financial burden on him, she said. Prior to his arrest, he had been unemployed due to surgery.
Kruse is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threat, domestic battery and criminal restraint for an Aug. 12 incident in which he told an 18-year-old woman he would kill her while he was holding a knife, according to court documents. Bond was set at $25,000 in that case.
He also faces 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, but Ziegler said those charges are somewhat misleading. The sexual images he is alleged to have were sent to him by a woman he was in a relationship with, she said. Then 17, she had told him she was 18, Ziegler said. Furthermore, the date he was charged was about two weeks from the woman’s 18th birthday.
Bond in that case was set at $150,000.
Ziegler said Kruse had only a few 20-year-old misdemeanors on his record and is not a violent person. She said he would have a place to live, either with a friend in Ellis County or, if allowed, with his mother in Great Bend.
Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees and Assistant County Attorney David Aschwege argued against changing bond.
Drees said Kruse had a 2001 conviction in Barton County on assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threat and battery, one Kruse’s attorney admitted she had not been aware of.
He had also been charged in 2017 with domestic battery, but those charges were dismissed when the victim refused to testify, Drees said.
Ziegler said that charge stemmed from an argument with Kruse’s mother while he was under the influence of some medications and alcohol. She said the mother had called police out of concern for his safety.
In the sexual exploitation charges, Aschwege said the arrest affidavit showed there were text messages indicating Kruse was aware the of the age of the girl he was in a relationship with.
After a recess to consider the arguments, Bittel said he had consulted the arrest affidavits in the two cases and found information not mentioned in court that was concerning, and without some safeguards in place he would not release Kruse or reduce his bond.
The judge did say he would consider future motions if Community Corrections could be present to ensure those safeguards.