Two Mammoth Lakes men were back in Judge George Eskin’s Santa Barbara courtroom Thursday. Both were out of custody, having each posted the $750,000 bail Eskin set in a hearing last week.
Dr. Andrew Bourne and Joseph Walker are charged with unlawful contact with a child with intent to commit a sexual crime and lewd act upon a child, charges related to what authorities called an almost two-year relationship with a Santa Barbara County child who is now 16 years old. Bourne, 48, and Walker, 46, have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Thursday morning, Eskin pushed out the date for a hearing in which he determines whether or not there is enough evidence for a trial against the two. According to attorneys, there are tens of thousands of emails involved in the case.
Eskin also directed the men not to communicate with each other, except in the presence of their legal counsel. That condition is in addition to several others — including no contact with the victim, or other minors — the judge ordered at the last hearing.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Mammoth Hospital said Bourne’s contract with the hospital, where he worked as a vascular surgeon, has been terminated. The superintendent of the school district where Bourne was on the school board didn’t respond to an email inquiry, but Bourne has reportedly resigned from that position as well. On the district’s Web site, Bourne’s seat is listed as “vacant.”
It is unclear what the connection is between the two men and the female victim, but Walker did live in Santa Barbara for a time.