Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wamala waives probable cause hearing

A Lowell High School math teacher declined to appear in Nashua District Court on Tuesday and waived his right to probable cause or bail hearings on the 30 felony sexual assault charges against him.

Severine Wamala ... has been jailed since his arrest Sept. 12, unable to post $1 million bail....

Wamala had been scheduled for a probable cause hearing Tuesday in Nashua District Court, at which prosecutors must show a judge they have enough evidence to support the charges. Wamala and his lawyer, public defender Scott Rankin, also could have argued to reduce his bail, but opted to waive the hearing entirely.

Wamala’s case now will be sent along to the Hillsborough County Attorney’s office to be presented to a grand jury in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Lowell High School Math Department Chairman Severine Wamala, accused of 30 counts of rape and incest, refused to face the cameras yesterday in Nashua District Court.

Wamala, 45, waived his right to a probable-cause hearing, choosing not to appear beside his attorney Scott Rankin, a New Hampshire public defender.

Rankin told the judge his client did not want to appear publicly in court, but had waived his right to a hearing that would have forced the district attorney to outline the charges against Wamala and the evidence linking him to the crimes....

Two young women sat quietly in the back of the court room during proceedings, accompanied by two representatives from Bridges, a Nashua-based nonprofit agency dedicated to helping victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

They were the only people in the courtroom gallery at the time of Wamala's hearing, excluding members of the media.

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