FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Broward County circuit Judge Michael Rothschild had already ruled that millionaire developer Louis Bianculli was not only a "real danger" to the community, but that his "vast resources" helped to make him a very serious flight risk should he be released from jail.
Bianculli is accused of repeatedly knocking out his former stepdaughter with chloroform and plastic bags and sexually abusing and torturing her over several years beginning when she was 12 years old.
When Rothschild granted Bianculli bond last year after his arrest, Bianculli violated the terms of his release multiple times, prompting the judge to put him back in jail again, saying that he wasn't trustworthy.
Meanwhile, more victims came forward with similar allegations that dated back five decades. If there was any doubt that Bianculli was a sexual predator, he admitted as much on damning audio recordings secretly made by his ex-wife during the police investigation.
But all of that didn't stop Rothschild from granting Bianculli a $1 million bond again in a surprise move late Friday after his attorneys argued that the developer -- at the time of his arrest worth an estimated $30 million -- should be let of jail for knee surgery.
The decision prompted a protest Tuesday morning outside the Broward County courthouse, where about 30 people gathered to condemn the judge's actions.
Among them was Eddie Trotta, the victim's grandfather, and another alleged victim, Nancy Olson, a former neighbor of Bianculli, who claims that he began abusing her when she was 10. Olson is one of several alleged previous victims now listed as a witness in the current case.
"She went through five years of abuse from him and now she has to worry every night that he's out on the street instead of in jail, where he belongs," Trotta said.
Bianculli was still in jail Tuesday as his attorneys worked to meet several bond conditions, including a schedule for the knee surgery.
But shortly after the protest was concluded Tuesday afternoon, word came that an emergency hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Rothschild's courtroom to reconsider his bond order, giving family members of the victim hope that the defendant will remain behind bars.
Trotta said he had a personal message for the judge.
"What if it was your granddaughter, judge? You wouldn't let him out," he said. "This guy's a monster."
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