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Lack of charges in abuse case draws criticism

Nye County Juvenile Probation Officer Randall Jones figured with all of the evidence gathered and presented, it would be an open and shut case, but he was wrong.

Jones was referring to his colleague Derek Bayer, also a juvenile probation officer, who was arrested and charged with child abuse and domestic battery in September.

Bayer’s arrest came after a school administrator noticed fresh bruises on a student at a local school. The alleged victim was related to a mutual acquaintance and not part of the juvenile probation system.

Jones said he is shocked after learning the Nye County District Attorney’s office declined to file charges against Bayer.

“I have parents that I deal with who while raising their kids got into a lesser altercation with their kids, but they still got charged,” Jones said. “I got the police report with photos where there are bruises on the child’s body and you could actually see the imprint of a hand. The report contained everything that would constitute domestic battery, or if not that, a minimum of battery. I’ve seen stuff like this before and the district attorney files charges on it, but this time she chose not to file on it.”

Nye County District Attorney Angela Bello said “We felt the state of the potential evidence did not justify the filing of charges.”

On Tuesday, Bayer said he would prefer to comment on the matter when the department closes out its own investigation.

“I can’t comment on it right now because I’m waiting for the internal affairs investigation to be completed,” he said.

At present, Jones said Bayer is still on administrative leave. He noted that he’s uncertain of Bayer’s future with the probation department.

“I’m not sure what his future is here but I think he should be fired,” he said.

Additionally, Jones said he chose to speak out about the case to let the community know about what he believes is a gross miscarriage of justice.

“I’ve been with juvenile probation for 15 years and I really want the people of this community to know that whether it was ignorance, or whether it was being swept under the rug, he never should have had the job as long as he did,” Jones said. “The guy has been allowed to hang on and now he’s with the union. Something has to change. Not only that, I’m presuming this kid has to continue to live in that environment with that type of a person. I think Child Protective Services also dropped the ball on this because they did their investigation where they took him out the house and put them back in the house.”

Additionally, Jones said he’s not concerned about his employer attempting to somehow retaliate against him for speaking out.

He also noted he’s not the only one in the juvenile probation office who believes the district attorney’s office dropped the ball in handling the case.

“I don’t give a shit because this is not fair,” he said. “I took an oath to uphold the laws within our community and the county. I’ve got proof of what I am talking about and I am also going to file a complaint with the attorney general’s office because I am dead serious about this. I’m the point man for everybody else because I can retire. It doesn’t really matter what happens because I can walk out today and retire and I’ll still be ok. I just can’t allow that to happen without saying something. If they want to fire me because I’m just telling the truth, fine.”

Bayer, 41, was arrested on a preliminary charge of child abuse when deputies were summoned after a student came to school with “severe bruising.”

According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and detectives conducted an investigation, which identified Bayer as the individual who caused the injuries while disciplining the 12-year-old child.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @sharrispvt

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