Bond modified in sexual abuse case

Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong refused to reduce the bond of a Valley Bend man facing a sexual abuse charge Monday, but did modify it to allow for the posting of property.

Lance Bradley Arbogast, 28, has been held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail since his June 19 arrest on a felony charge of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person of trust and a felony charge of third-degree sexual assault.

He is alleged to have forced his fiancee’s daughter to engage in lewd sexual acts. according to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court by the West Virginia State Police.

Monday’s hearing marks the second time defense attorney Megan Alexander has argued for a reduction in Arbogast’s bond. A similar motion was denied shortly after his arrest in Magistrate Court, though Alexander argued that the reason was because of concern for Arbogast’s mental state following his arrest.

“This is not a defendant we would be cutting loose,” she said. “He would like to work and be a contributing member of society while this case is pending.”

Alexander said a suitable living arrangement has already been located on property owned by his father. She said he would not be around children and would be employed in his father’s trucking business.

Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker objected to a reduction in bond, going as far as to argue that he wanted a $100,000 bond if it included any type of surety.

“This is a very serious case with very serious allegations, sexually abusing a 13-year-old child while she was asleep or pretending to be asleep,” Parker said. “I do feel there is a general threat to the public.”

Wilfong ordered that the $50,000 bond remain in place, but ruled that cash or property could be posted. She also ordered that should Arbogast make bond, he is to have no contact with children under the age of 18 under any circumstance. Wilfong also ordered that Arbogast is not to have any contact with the alleged victim in the case, nor any member of her family.

Arbogast waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and the case has been bound over to the circuit court for grand jury consideration.