Ex-choirmaster accused of child sex offences freed ahead of extradition

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A former choirmaster accused of child sex offences in California will be freed from jail just days ahead of his extradition to the US.

Roger Giese, who is in his forties and was born in America, was released on bail by a High Court judge on Tuesday ahead of his extradition on Friday.

He is wanted in Orange County, California, after allegedly molesting a boy aged under 14 when working as a voice coach for the All-American Boys Chorus 20 years ago.

His lawyers told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies he needed time to put his business affairs in order and to deal with the “emotional aspect” of separating from his partner.

They said being able to go to home near Southampton, Hampshire, before he is taken to America will be “extremely significant” for both Giese and his partner.

Mrs Justice Davies released him under strict conditions, including a £10,000 security deposit and an electronically-monitored curfew between 4pm and 10am.

He will also have to report to his local police station each day and his passport has been retained by the authorities.

Giese previously staged a human rights challenge in the High Court after his extradition was ordered last year.

At a hearing in May, his lawyers argued there was an “abuse of process” after an earlier attempt to extradite him failed.

They also said that, if convicted, it is likely he would suffer violence at the hands of other prisoners and would be subject to a “civil commitment” at the end of his sentence – which would breach his human rights.

But his appeal was rejected in June by two senior judges, who said the second set of extradition proceedings did not amount to an abuse of process.

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Dingemans, said at the time: “The underlying consideration is the strong public interest in upholding our international obligations and delivering for trial those accused of serious criminal wrongdoing.

“A strong feature of this case is that the appellant is a classic fugitive from justice – he broke his bail conditions and fled the jurisdiction.

“The offences for which he is wanted are serious.”

Following his defeat at the High Court, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) applied to have him remanded in prison and he was locked up on July 19.

His lawyers told the court that, since being jailed, he has had hardly any contact with his partner.

They said he had not breached any bail conditions throughout the whole of the extradition proceedings, since his first arrest in the UK in 2014.

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