Bail is no longer required for a Washington Union High School teacher who was arrested a month ago on suspicion of having sex with a student, a judge ruled Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court.
Judge Gary Hoff made the decision after learning that Nadia Christine Diaz, 26, or her lawyer, Richard Berman, came to court twice without charges being filed.
Even though she has not been charged, Diaz is still required to show up in court to see whether charges have been filed because she was released on bail.
Prosecutors aren't saying whether charges will be filed.
Thursday's ruling means Diaz is free, and her $55,000 bail will be returned to the bail bondsman that posted it.
Berman said he wanted to keep the bail in place for his client.
That's because most people who want to get out of jail pay a bondsman 8% to 10% of the bail and the bondsman puts up the rest. Once the bail is no longer required, the bondsman gets the entire amount back, Berman said.
If the District Attorney's Office files charges against Diaz, she will likely be re-arrested and could be ordered to pay a bondsman again, Berman said. The statute of limitation to file sex-crime charges is about eight years, Berman said.
"I'm glad charges haven't been filed, but her life is in limbo," he said. "She's unemployed and stressed. She has nothing else to do but wait."
Sheriff's deputies arrested Diaz on Sept. 15 on suspicion of having sex with a student and oral copulation.
The alleged crimes happened in January and February 2009 when Diaz worked as a substitute teacher at the Easton school, where she met the student, who was 14 at the time, the Sheriff's Office said.
Diaz later became a full-time social sciences teacher at the high school.
Since her arrest, she has been on administrative leave without pay, Berman said.
Bail also was an issue with Clovis North drama teacher Andrew Cardillo, 32, who was arrested in August on suspicion of having sex with a minor.
Cardillo and his attorney, Carl Faller, went to court two times and learned charges hadn't been filed, so the judge allowed him to be free without bail. But in Cardillo's case, his family posted $105,000 bail to get him out of jail. On Sept. 23, Hoff ordered the bail returned to them. As of Thursday, Cardillo still hadn't been charged with any crime.
Clovis Unified School District spokeswoman Kelly Avants has said that Cardillo, who was hired as a drama teacher in 2007, was placed on leave with pay June 22.
Avants said Thursday that Cardillo's status with the district remains unchanged. She declined to say anything about possible investigations, saying such matters are confidential.