Judge has lowered bail for child rape suspect

Prosecution argued Rafael Lopez-Espinoza is a flight risk

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Berkshire County man originally from Mexico who’s been charged with child rape and animal cruelty has had his bail reduced to $20,000.

A judge Tuesday agreed to reduce 41-year-old Rafael Lopez-Espinoza‘s bail despite the prosecution’s concerns that he is a flight risk.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that the New Marlborough resident had been held on $35,000 bail since pleading not guilty last week.

Prosecutors say he sexually assaulted the now 11-year-old girl over approximately two years beginning in 2014 while she was in his care.

Authorities say Lopez-Espinoza also kicked the child’s dog and threatened to harm the girl’s mother and sister if she reported the abuse.

Defense attorney Lori Levinson said her client was “shocked and appalled” by the allegations and “adamantly and vehemently” denies them.


Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com