Man arrested for alleged kidnapping, sex with minor, Gascon's office recommended $0 bail: California police

The California Supreme Court eliminated cash bail earlier this year for defendants who can’t afford to pay it

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A 21-year-old homeless man was arrested in Los Angeles County this week on charges of kidnapping and having sex with a minor, according to police

Simon Lopez was arrested Monday afternoon in a residential neighborhood of Canoga Park, Glendale police said in a press release

Simon Lopez

Simon Lopez (Glendale PD)

Lopez’s arrest stemmed from a reported confrontation between a minor and an adult male earlier this month in Glendale, police said. Investigators learned that the male was seen physically assaulting the minor before fleeing the area in a vehicle.  

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Investigators also learned that Lopez had been having a romantic relationship with a minor under the age of 15 and had a non-local warrant out for his arrest, according to police. 

Police tracked down Lopez in the 21000 block of Roscoe Blvd. in Canoga Park on Monday around 2:30 p.m. and arrested him. 

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department prisoner transportation bus leaves the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department prisoner transportation bus leaves the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

He was charged with kidnapping, domestic violence, engaging in intercourse with a minor, and for his outstanding warrant. Jail records show he is in custody at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. 

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Glendale police said District Attorney George Gascón’s office recommended that Lopez’s bail be set at $0 because of the county’s emergency "Zero-Dollar" bail order. When reached for comment, a spokesman for Gascón’s office appeared to contest the Glendale police, telling Fox News its prosecutor did not recommend $0 bail and that a judge ultimately set bail at $100,000. 

The "Zero-Dollar" policy was implemented to reduce crowding in county jails during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to misdemeanors and lower-level felonies.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is facing a second recall attempt as criticism over his progressive policies intensifies. 

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is facing a second recall attempt as criticism over his progressive policies intensifies.  (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Justice reform advocates have long argued that low-income and minority communities are disproportionately affected by cash bail. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court eliminated cash bail for defendants who can’t afford to pay it – essentially requiring that poor defendants be freed unless they are deemed too dangerous to be released awaiting trial. 

The court’s decision came despite California voters’ November 2020 rejection of a proposed end to the state’s cash bail system. 

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The "zero bail" policy has since come under scrutiny amid an increase in crime, most notably with a series of brazen smash-and-grab robberies at high-end retail stores. Gascón's progressive policies, too, have made him the target of multiple recall attempts

Jeff Clayton, Executive Director of the American Bail Coalition, slammed Gascón in a statement to Fox News saying that if the D.A. had his way, "Simon Lopez and many, many others would be out on the street to re-terrorize their victims." 

"It is important to note that Lopez is a transient, who also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest," Clayton said. "This would lead any reasonable person to conclude that he was a severe flight risk and danger to the community.  But apparently not to DA Gascón. According to his standards, Lopez is innocent and free to go." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report