Accused Child Pornography Suspect Out On Bail

May 12, 2008 8:02:31 PM PDT
The South Valley man accused of looking at child pornography at a county library has been released from jail. 39-year old Donny Crisler was in court on Monday, to learn if he was considered competent to stand trial.Donny Crisler was released on $100,000 bail. On Monday morning, a judge ordered that he not go within 100 feet of the county-run library in Lindsay.

Donny Crisler covered his face with his hands as he sat in the back of a Porterville courtroom with his family. Crisler faces felony charges for possessing child pornography. His attorney says his family came up with the money to bail him out because they felt he wasn't safe in jail.

Crisler's attorney. Roland Soltesz, says, "It was my understanding that there were three separate death threats to him in the jail."

Donny Crisler was in court to hear back from a doctor who evaluated whether he's competent to stand trial. Soltesz says a doctor believes he is not developmentally disabled but made no conclusion as to his competency. Judge Elisabeth Krant says, "They do recommend, however, that he be evaluated by an expert in mental health and in deafness and on deafness issues."

Crisler is deaf and mute and requires two sign language interpreters during court proceedings. Attorneys say a doctor in Napa who works with mental health and deaf patients will likely evaluate Crisler to see if he's competent.

Assistant Tulare County District Attorney William Yoshimoto says, "We want to be sure that information and questions and answers are done in such a way that the most accurate diagnosis from these doctors is available.

As attorneys wait to hear back from the second doctor, the controversy continues in the case of librarian Brenda Biesterfeld. Biesterfeld was fired two days after reporting Crisler was looking at child pornography on one of the library's computers. She says it was because she went against her bosses orders to not call police. The county says she was fired for other reasons.

Biesterfeld told Action News she will begin legal mediation with the county sometime in the next couple weeks. The Tulare County Board of Supervisors will discuss Brenda Biesterfeld's case during closed session at their meeting on Tuesday.

Donny Crisler will be back in court next month. In addition to staying away from the library, a judge also ordered he not be left alone with any child under the age of 18.


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