Sacramento Bee

A Sacramento judge is refusing to allow a doctor accused in a child pornography case to be released from jail on bail, writing that he is “deeply concerned about the danger the defendant poses to the community.”

In a six-page order, U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley wrote that Roseville Dr. Khursheed Haider poses a flight risk and a danger to the community, and rejected arguments that he could safely be released to live in a residence away from his young children.

Haider was indicted Nov. 30 by a federal grand jury on counts of possessing and distributing child pornography and pleaded not guilty. A magistrate judge agreed to allow Haider’s release on $500,000 bail under strict supervision, but that judge stayed her own order to give the government time to pursue the issue with Nunley.

Court filings by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis Klein describe deeply disturbing images that the government says it has retrieved from Haider’s electronic devices.

“The government has located additional horrific and disturbing evidence on defendant’s digital devices, which include the heinous torture of an infant and possible production of infant child pornography,” Klein wrote in arguing that Haider remain in custody pending the outcome of his case.

“One video shows the heinous torture of an infant for more than 9 minutes and 30 seconds,” Klein wrote, describing in graphic detail the contents of the video.

She also wrote that Haider “provided false information and half-truths to pretrial” services and failed to disclose that, in addition to his California medical license, Haider has hospital privileges at three hospitals in Texas.

Haider also misled officials about the extent of his international travel, claiming only “five or so” trips to his native Pakistan since 2009, court filings say.

“This is wholly inconsistent with his extensive international travel history, which includes at least 14 trips abroad since 2014,” Klein wrote.

Klein also maintained that Haider’s wife misled officials when she claimed that Placer County officials had indicated they would not oppose allowing Haider to return to his home, where he has four children living, including two ages 3 and 5.

Haider’s wife, also a doctor, wrote a declaration filed in court that a Placer County health and human services official “told me that she was not concerned with the safety of the children should my husband be released to reside in our residence.”

Haider attorneys Michel Huff and Michael Pinkerton have argued that Haider should be allowed to return home “with other appropriate conditions imposed,” but that he was willing to move to a hotel or rental property pending the outcome of his case.

Nunley noted in his order that confidentiality requirements kept the government from providing him with information from Placer County child protective services about the case, so the court contacted a deputy county counsel and asked two questions: did a social worker tell Haider’s wife there was no concern about the doctor returning home, and did CPS tell the wife that Haider could return home and live with his minor children?

“The Deputy County Counsel responded ‘no’ to both questions,” Nunley wrote. “As such, it appears defendant’s wife misled Pretrial Services and attempted to mislead the court.

“Based on the current record, the court is extremely concerned about the danger that may result if defendant has access to his minor children.”

Nunley added that he concluded that “there is no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure defendant’s appearance and the safety of the community,” and added that he is “deeply concerned” about the danger Haider poses.

“The government alleges defendant described in graphic detail ways he would like to sexually abuse children and see infants and toddlers being raped, bound, and otherwise sexually abused,” the judge wrote. “The government further alleges defendant viewed videos of young children being raped.

“Defendant’s youngest children, aged 3 and 5, fall within the same age range as the victims in the videos he allegedly viewed being sexually abused.”

Haider, 48, remains in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail. His next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Source link