Accused Fortuna Excessive Coach Taken Into Custody After Decide Will increase Bail at Arraignment | Misplaced Coast Outpost
PREVIOUSLY: Fortuna Teacher Arrested for Alleged Sexual Battery on a Minor
# # #
A Fortuna High School coach and math teacher was handcuffed and led away to jail at his arrangement today after Judge Kelly Neel raised his bail by $65,000.
Gary Frankland Landergen, 56, is charged with the felony child molestation of three 15-year-old girls. He posted $35,000 bail when he was arrested on April 6, but was taken into custody again this afternoon after Neel increased his bail to $100,000.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer asked for the higher bail, saying Landergen took advantage of being in a position of trust as the girls’ coach.
Landergen was accompanied by attorney Zack Curtis, who argued Landergen has been out of custody for a month and has caused no problems.
“He has every intent of taking care of the court date and answering to these charges,” Curtis said. He said Landergen understands the seriousness of the charges and has been careful to stay away from young people.
Neel also signed restraining orders today, meaning Landergen is not allowed to contact his alleged victims in any way. He does not live far from the school and must stay at least 10 yards away.
A bail hearing is scheduled for Friday, though Landergen may post the additional $65,000 before then.
Landergen is charged with four felony counts of child molestation involving Jane Does One, Two and Three. He also is accused of three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. A conviction on any of the charges would require him to register as a sex offender.
All of the alleged crimes occurred over just a few days: March 30 and 31 and April 2.
According to the district attorney’s written complaint, Jane Doe One reported Landergen “grabbed her buttocks with his hand while saying ‘I love you.'”
Jane Doe Two said Landergen touched her upper thigh near her buttocks, and on another occasion patted her buttocks with his hand. The complaint alleges Landergen molested Jane Doe Three but does not give details.
The three misdemeanor sexual battery charges involve Jane Does One and Two, along with a third Jane Doe who is listed as “under 18 years old.”
Landergen was accompanied to court by several supporters, including a young man who took his phone before he was jailed.
Defense attorney Curtis told the judge he was making a special appearance today, meaning he has not been hired.
Fortuna High School placed Landergen on administrative leave shortly before he was arrested by Fortuna police.
Landergen’s arrangement was not completed today, but should be on Friday.