The amount of a cash only bond was reduced today for a Green River man facing multiple charges related to secretly videotaping people in local communities.
Ryan Flaten, 28 of Green River, appeared before Judge Craig L. Jones today for a scheduled preliminary hearing and to request a bond reduction. Flaten’s appearance today was in reference to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children and 29 counts of felony Voyeurism which were filed last week.
Flaten waived the preliminary hearing, and the 31 new charges will move forward to District Court. These charges are in addition to the 16 felony Voyeurism counts already bound over to District Court in Sweetwater County. He also faces a felony Voyeurism charge and felony drug charge in Uinta County.
Judge Craig L. Jones reduced Flaten’s bond to $30,000 cash only from the $50,000 cash only bond which was set last week. A cash only bond differs from a cash or surety bond in that it requires the full amount to be paid to the court and does not allow Flaten to go through a bonding agency.
During the hearing, Defense Attorney Nicholas Vanatta requested that Judge Jones reduce Flaten’s bond to $30,000 cash or surety. Vanatta said Flaten has close ties to the community and already has a $25,000 cash or surety bond in Sweetwater County and a $10,000 cash or surety bond in Uinta County. Vanatta argued that the posted bonds would keep Flaten from fleeing.
Vanatta also asked Judge Jones to make an exception to Flaten’s bond requirements regarding an order to not have contact with any minor children. He asked for the court to allow Flaten to have contact with his one-year-old child when the mother is present.
Prosecutor Lora Cooper asked Judge Jones to keep bond at $50,000 cash only. She argued that Flaten has victimized the entire communities of Green River and Rock Springs, and the newly filed charges greatly increase his maximum possible sentence.
Cooper also asked the judge to keep a bond requirement for Flaten to be prohibited from coming into contact with any children. She said many of the videos involved children, and some were taken at locations where children frequent. She also said a child whom Flaten was caring for could be heard in the background of some of the videos, although the child is not known to be the subject of any of the videos in question.
Judge Jones said there is no formula for setting bond in these cases, and it is up to the judge’s conscience when deciding on a bond amount. He said the charges of Sexual Exploitation of Children related to creating child pornography and increased Flaten’s danger to the community and chance of incarceration.
Judge Jones kept the bond requirement which prohibits Flaten from having contact with any children if he is released on bond.