Gregory Bolds, who had been held in jail for five months on a felony assault charge, was released after it was determined that he was defending himself from sexual assault, according to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. Bolds had claimed self-defense at the time of his arrest in May, but his claim was never investigated by the police.
The incident occurred when police responded to a residential building on May 25 after a neighbor reported hearing a commotion and a cry for help from an apartment. Bolds, who remained at the scene, informed the officers that he had fought off a sexual assault by someone he had met earlier that night. However, the officer who spoke to Bolds did not inform their superior or investigate the claim.
Bolds was subsequently arrested and accused of assault. During the trial, the neighbor who called the police expressed suspicion towards Bolds, citing his unfamiliarity and the frequent visitors to the building. The alleged victim, who had suffered bruising, refused to testify.
After five months, a jury deliberated for one day before acquitting Bolds. His incarceration resulted in the loss of his job, and one of his sons had to drop out of college to help with rent.
“The law says that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but Mr. Bolds was presumed guilty every step of the way until we were able to get in front of a jury,” stated SF Deputy Public Defender Anthony Gedeon.