A Danvers man charged with entering Gov. Charlie Baker’s Swampscott home in October was released last week after a nonprofit that works to free low-income people from pre-trail detention posted his $5,000 bail.
Lane Forman, 59, received a GPS ankle bracelet and was released from Lynn District Court on Nov. 10, days after the Massachusetts Bail Fund posted his bail, The Salem News reports.
Forman was ordered to stay away from Baker’s home and have no contact with the governor or his family as conditions of his release, according to the newspaper.
Prosecutors allege Forman entered Baker’s house through an unlocked door and left an envelope inside last month. When a Massachusetts State Police trooper saw Forman leaving and questioned him about what he was doing, Forman allegedly said, “Charlie told me to drop this off.”
Baker’s wife and daughter were home at the time.
Stephen Reardon, Forman’s attorney, told WBZ-TV it appeared Forman “was merely dropping off some innocuous documents and photographs that he thought would be of interest to the Governor and had no ill intent.”
Forman was on probation for a harassment case involving a former Massport official when he was charged, according to The Salem News. His bail was determined partially based off his 14-page criminal record, which includes some violent crimes, though most of it is sealed, the newspaper reports.
Following Forman’s release, Republican state Sen. Ryan Fattman, of Sutton, renewed calls for lawmakers to investigate the Bail Fund, which, on its website, says is “committed to the harm reduction of freeing individuals serving pre-trial sentences and to abolishing pre-trial detention and supervision in the long-term.”
The group’s slogan reads, “Free them all.”
“This action shows that no one, not even the governor, can be kept safe from their reckless actions and dangerous mission,” Fattman told The Boston Herald in a statement. “I called for an investigation into the Massachusetts Bail Fund to prevent actions like this from occurring and I hope that this offense illuminates the real dangers of a ‘Free them all’ mission.”
The senator also said the Bail Fund is “disrespecting the governor’s family and endangering them again,” according to the Herald.
In September, Fattman was among over a dozen Republican lawmakers who signed a letter that called for a hearing focused on the organization, after the Bail Fund posted $15,000 for Shawn McClinton, a registered Level 3 sex offender, in July, the newspaper reports.
McClinton was awaiting trial on rape and kidnapping charges from a 2018 case when he was released. While out on bail in August, he was charged with aggravated rape, kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault, strangulation, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
In July, the Bail Fund also posted a $30,000 bail for Tyler Jacquard, a Level 3 sex offender who was charged with lewd behavior at a Lynnfield shopping plaza in June, according to The Salem News.
The Bail Fund did not return requests for comment from the Herald or The Salem News.
On its website, the Bail Fund says it pays up to $5,000 bail so “that low-income people can stay free while they work towards resolving their case, allowing individuals, families, and communities to stay productive, together, and stable.”
“The mission of the Massachusetts Bail Fund has always been to free people from jail,” the organization said in an Aug. 12 statement. “We are a non-judgmental, abolitionist bail fund. We post bail for people regardless of charge or court history … We do this work because pretrial detention is harmful and racist. Pretrial detention keeps people in cages for months or years, causing them to lose their housing, lose their jobs, lose their children, and potentially lose their lives. And throughout the Commonwealth, judges and prosecutors impose higher bails on Black and Brown people than white people for the same categories of offenses.”
No State House hearings have been scheduled regarding the Bail Fund and its tax-exempt status, according to the Herald. Quincy Democratic state Sen. John Keenan, chairman of the Post Audit and Oversight Committee, told the newspaper the committee is still trying to decide whether to do so.
Forman is due back in court on Dec. 30, The Salem News reports.
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