Vince Ariaz traded his orange jail clothing for a striped orange T-shirt and jeans Thursday afternoon and left the Brown County Jail, released on bonds totaling $200,000.
Ariaz, a former Brownwood police sergeant, was released at 1:15 p.m. and left the jail with his bail bondsman, Joe Bob Plumlee of Weatherford.
District Judge Steve Ellis ruled last week that if Ariaz made bond, he would be subject to house arrest and electronic monitoring by the Brown County Probation Department.
Probation director Joe Shaw said he can’t comment on Ariaz because Ellis imposed a gag order last week. Shaw did answer general questions about electronic monitoring.
He said there is one other person on electronic monitoring in Brown County. That person is a DWI defendant, Shaw said.
The equipment is provided through a company in California, and the defendant is required to reimburse the county for a $10 daily charge, Shaw said.
He said the a device, about the size of a computer mouse, is attached to the person’s ankle with a nylon-like strap. If the person leaves his home without permission, a base unit set up in the home picks up a signal and generates a phone call and fax to authorities, Shaw said. If the person cuts the device from his ankle, it sends out an alarm, he said.
“Generally they’re not supposed to leave without our permission,” Shaw said. “Any absence has got to be pre-coordinated with us.”
Permission to leave would typically be granted for visits to attorneys or doctors, or for emergencies, Shaw said. The person would be given a narrow time frame in which to return.
Ariaz, 53, was arrested July 17 on accusations that he had sexual contact with two teenage girls. The girls were members of the Police Explorers, a group for youth who are interested in law enforcement. Ariaz was the post’s adviser.
His bonds initially totaled $750,000. Ellis ordered the bonds lowered after a bond reduction hearing on Aug. 10.