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Cannon Air Force Base airmen accused of rape released on bond

The three Cannon Air Force Base airmen accused of rape were released from the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Monday on an unsecured appearance bond. (ABC 7 Amarillo)

The three Cannon Air Force Base airmen accused of rape were released from the Curry County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured appearance bond this week.

Senior Airman Thomas Newton, Airman First Class Isaiah Edley and Airman First Class Rahman Buchanan were arrested in Portales on Jan. 27 and charged with second-degree criminal sexual penetration after a female peer told Clovis police that the three assaulted her at a weekend house party in Clovis.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports the three men were released following a court hearing Monday morning. The motion for Monday's hearing came after the state's Court of Appeals issued an order to reverse the district court's motion for pre-trial detention without bond.

Craig Acorn, the attorney representing Edley, said the release is "kind of a better late than never scenario."

The defendants were held in the Curry County Adult Detention Center since January, after three judges denied conditions of release and bonds due to flight risks concerns, the court's lack of jurisdiction over the air force base and the seriousness of the crime.

Acorn said the conditions of the release are standard. According to The Eastern New Mexico News, the three men have restrictions from alcohol and drugs, are not allowed to make contact with the other defendants or the alleged victim, are required to keep in touch with their attorneys and cannot leave the state.

The unsecured appearance bond is a type of bail where the defendants make a written promise to appear in court. The $5,000 value of the appearance bond will only have to be paid if any of the defendants miss an upcoming court date.

The five-day trial is tentatively scheduled for the middle of October. The court is still waiting for forensic analysis results from the state's crime lab. After this, attorneys will be able to proceed with witness interviews and other discoveries.

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