SAN BERNARDINO – Bail for a former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy was increased from $150,000 to $350,000 by a superior court judge Tuesday, after an online posting that appeared to be threatening toward the victim.
Nathan Gastineau, of Redlands, was accused in April of having sex during a ride-along with a teenage female who volunteered for the department’s currently suspended Explorer program. While free on bail, Gastineau took to his Facebook page last week and paraphrased a speech from the television show Battlestar Galactica about “revenge,” “payback” and continuing to “fight.”
While Gastineau wass in court getting his bail upped by Superior Court Judge John Martin, a small group gathered outside the courthouse in support of the former lawman. The accuser’s representative, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, was also present.
Gastineau, 31, who had been free on bail, was handcuffed and led away to jail after Martin increased the bail amount. Gastineau is accused on three counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child and three counts of illegal sexual intercourse with a minor. He has pled not guilty to all charges.
Gastineau was the supervisor of the county’s Explorer program at the sheriff’s department’s Highland substation, which is where he came into contact with the unnamed victim, who was 16 years old at the time, according to reports.
On Gastineau’s Facebook page, he wrote, in part: “A philosopher once said, ‘When faced with untenable alternative you should consider your imperative. War is our imperative. And if right now victory seems like an impossibility, then we have something else to reach for: revenge, payback. So we will fight. Because in the end, it’s the only alternative my enemy has left us. I say let’s make them understand that as long as I still have a breath in me, that this war, that they started, will not be over. Thank you everyone for the support.”
While Martin admonished Gastineau for his post, the ex-deputy contended that he was repeating a quote from a television show and that it was not intended as threatening.
Gastineau’s supporters stood outside a busy county courthouse wearing buttons that read: “Innocent Until Proven Guilty.”
Allred, meanwhile, expressed support for the court’s ruling.
“I don’t know whether the defendant will be able to post the higher bail or not, but the court is right. It could incite or possibly endanger the victim in this case,” she said.
Gastineau, who was recognized by the Highland Chamber of Commerce as its 2008 Officer of the Year, is next due for an Aug. 25 hearing, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
The county’s Explorer’s program, which has been suspended by Sheriff Rod Hoops, is a law enforcement training program for youths.
In related news, Jason Henry Anguiano agreed last month to be sentenced to three months in county jail and three years on probation for a sexual relationship with the same teen victim, whom he allegedly met through a Ghostbusters fan club to which Gastineau also belonged.
District attorney spokesman Chris Lee said that Anguiano will also be required to register as a sex offender, complete a sex offender treatment program and submit to HIV testing.
Anguiano had been accused of two counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object on a minor before accepting his plea deal on July 7, Lee said.