A gang member convicted of an infamous 2006 kidnap and rape is again in federal court in San Francisco. Allen Releford is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm and numerous parole violations. He has benefited from a repeated willingness on the part of the judiciary to release him.
Releford was paroled in September 2021 after serving a 14 year sentence for the “heinous and sadistic” kidnap and gang rape of a sixteen year old girl in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. The description of the offense is horrific. Prosecutors say he is a known gang member with a long history of violence – including in prison.
Only months after his release, in January 2022, he was arrested with a Glock 26 loaded with nine 9mm rounds at 3rd and Quesada in the Bayview. This resulted in a federal indictment.
Releford was initially held in federal custody. But on May 19, 2022 U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ordered his pretrial release on an unsecured $60,000 bond with the condition that he reside in a halfway house.
This prospect so alarmed the government that prosecutors appealed the release decision, only for it to be affirmed by U.S. District Judge William Orrick.
Over the following months, Releford was admonished by the court for failure to abide by pre trial release conditions.
By December 2022 he was back in custody. Releford was seen by SFPD officers driving at 3rd and Quesdada, where he was not permitted to be. A parole search of the car uncovered a firearm under the front seat that he admitted to holding.
“The defendant continues to be a danger to the community,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Yeh, at a hearing on January 13, 2023. He said that Allen’s new charges, in addition to his failure to abide by pretrial release conditions, warranted his detention.
David Rizk, defending, told the court that “while he obviously shouldn’t have been in a car with a gun, it’s not clear to me that there’s evidence he was aware of it.” He also said that Releford’s location monitor was not functioning correctly.
Nonetheless, despite being detained, Releford was released again by Magistrate Judge Beeler on February 14, 2023. An April 6, 2023 hearing she was told that “the defendant is doing well and continues with job training.” Although pre-trial services officials recommended that he remain in a halfway house, the judge approved him moving in with his mother, with a curfew and electronic monitoring. His case continues.
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