The owner of a Wilmington afterschool program, charged with taking indecent liberties with children, will be out of jail tonight.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom Wednesday in order not to identify the alleged victims or their parents, but inside it was standing room only and the majority of people were there to support the accused karate instructor.
“I’m just appalled at the thought at what is going on, and I’m hoping my daughter stays over John’s house tonight,” said Maisenhelder’s neighbor and friend Steven Hertz.
Supporters were relieved a judge ruled to dramatically lower John Maisenhelder’s bond from half a million dollars to $25,000, bond, his family, will post.
“I have four children and I would trust him from now until forever with them. I have this secure feeling that he’s going to be exonerated because we know what they don’t have,” said Alisha Spiknall.
Maisenhelder was arrested last week after investigators searched his home, and afterschool program, called CAST.
The search warrant, according to the prosecution, reveals videotape showing Maisenhelder in what could be inappropriate contact with three young girls ranging from kindergarten aged, to third grade.
Maisenhleder’s attorney responded in a news conference following the hearing. “I have reviewed some of the video tape. Its description in the search warrant from a police detective solely and I fundamentally disagree with what it depicts,” said Woody White.
Inside the courtroom, White argued that at least twenty other children were present, as well as three adults, during the alleged molestation.
As a condition of his release, Maisenhelder will not be allowed to have contact with the alleged victims. He’s not allowed to have access to any place that has kids under 14, and he must wear a GPS tracking device so the DA’s office has knowledge of where he is at all times.
Since the news of his arrest, four more alleged victims have come forward with allegations against Maisenhelder.
Six alleged victims were interviewed today and eight more are expected to be interviewed tomorrow.
Maisenhelder’s friends and family say they have no doubt he is innocent of all the charges.