Bail reduced for former teacher Daniel Lozada, accused of sending nude photo to student
NORTHAMPTON — The defense attorney for a former local dance teacher on Wednesday convinced a judge to lower his client’s bail to a fraction of what it had been.
Daniel Lozada, 33, of 13 Northampton St., Apt. H, Easthampton, had been held following his arraignment in Hampshire Superior Court earlier this month on $10,000 cash bail. He faces charges of disseminating obscene material to a minor and two counts of distributing a class D drug (marijuana).
Judge Mary-Lou Rup on Wednesday reduced his bail to $1,250 cash or $12,500 surety.
Lozada had been free on $250 bail posted in Northampton District Court when he was arraigned in November on the dissemination charge. The bail amount was raised in Superior Court, where the distribution charges were added.
Those charges stem from an allegation that Lozada contacted a student of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, where he taught dance part time, picked her up and smoked marijuana with her.
Contacting the student was a violation of Lozada’s conditions of release, and was allegedly done the same day he was arraigned in district court, prosecutors said.
Lozada’s attorney, David Mintz of Northampton, asked for the bail to be reduced based on his client’s lack of criminal history and a witness statement that contradicts some of the state’s evidence.
Mintz argued $1,250 was a significant amount of money for Lozada and his family and would assure his continued appearances in court.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Linda Pisano argued the $10,000 bail was appropriate due to the allegedly flagrant violation of his conditions of release by contacting a student the day of his district court appearance.
“It was a blatant disregard for the court’s order,” she said.
Mintz said in court previously that Lozada denies doing drugs and submitted to a drug test on Jan. 10 that came back negative.
Lozada is accused of sending a nude photo of himself and suggestive text messages to a 17-year-old female PVPA student in October 2012.
PVPA placed Lozada on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced, and he was eventually fired, according to the school. He had been on the job for about two months.
If released, Lozada must have no contact with anyone under 18, report to the probation department five times a week, avoid drug use and submit to random screenings. He is due back in court May 14 for a pre-trial hearing.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.