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Maisenhelder out of jail after bond reduced

READ MORE: Family to post Maisenhelder's reduced bond
The owner of a Wilmington afterschool program, charged with taking indecent liberties with children, is out of jail. 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.

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My husband has studied under Shihan since his pre-teen years. We've even discussed sending our own children through his program when the time comes. Imagine the nausea in the pit of my stomach when I go to WilmStar to check on jobs and instead see his face plastered on the front page. I swear it was like time stopped. We live in America where a man is innocent until proven guilty. OR at least, that's the way it is supposed to be. Sadly, that is not how it's being reported and that is not how people are responding. The charges against him are of the worst kind possible- crimes against children. As a parent I find this absolutely gut-wrenching. First that someone I have known and respected could be accused of such things. Secondly that despite all my hoping and praying, there may be some credit to them. However, I pray for all the families involved. For John and his family as well. I pray for the truth to be brought to light. All the evidence is not out yet. There are so many questions I have. I'll list them here for now. There is a complaint from late April. And two in May, one of them being the video surveillance people keep talking about. According to the Star, the camera was concealed and the person with the camera could not see the class or what was happening. There were many students and adults present (and yet no one interrupted the class as these "indecent liberties" were happening right in front of him?)I wonder if there was sound? Could one hear what instructions or words Maisenhelder was speaking to the class during this time? Another interesting thought- obviously the judge probably viewed the video before reducing his bond and setting the restrictions on his release. Now why would a judge release someone who would be a great danger to society, to children? Why let him out on bond at all, regardless of what "security measures" have been taken? There was obviously something that propelled the judge to do that at all. I wonder what it was... There are so many other questions in my mind regarding this investigation and the reporting surrounding it. But like everyone else, I have to read as it unfolds. Praying for the children, the families, the community, and everyone affected by these accusations. Standing behind the belief that we are innocent until proven otherwise by irrefutable evidence.