A former St. Johnsbury prison guard is still in jail on domestic and sexual assault charges
A former St. Johnsbury prison guard is still in jail on domestic and sexual assault charges. But Caledonia Superior Court Judge Justin Jiron has made it possible for Michael Baker to be released pending trial. Baker, 33, of Barnet, in still in pretrial detention at Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland. But the judge modified Baker’s conditions of release on Tuesday and removed the hold-without-bail order and replaced it with $25,000 bond. The modified conditions allow Baker to be released into the custody of court appointed custodians Heather Willard, 48, and Michael Young, 64, under a 24-hour curfew at their residence in Lyndonville. Baker is also prohibited from consuming or possessing alcohol, marijuana or regulated drugs without a prescription. Baker is still not allowed to contact, abuse or harass the alleged victim in the case – a 23-year-old woman – who told police she had been sexually assaulted by Baker in July and that it wasn’t the first time. The alleged victim did write a letter to the court supporting Baker’s release. Baker worked as a corrections officer at Northeast Regional Correctional Facility on Route 5 in St. Johnsbury. He was placed on administrative leave after being arrested in July. Baker, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison if convicted.