Chinese scholar wins bail over U.S. concerns she’ll try to flee

A month ago, University of California at Davis researcher Juan Tang was arrested for visa fraud and locked up after she had taken refuge at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. Now, a couple Tang doesn’t know has pledged to post $750,000 bail so that she can reside at their home 24 hours a day as she awaits trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman in Sacramento said he’d never seen such blind generosity in his entire career and warned the couple Friday, as he had a day earlier, of the risk they’re taking if she flees the U.S.

“She’s going to be at your house all day, every day, and you’re going to be responsible for her,” Newman said.

Federal prosecutors objected to Tang’s release, arguing she’s among a group of visiting scientists and academics who lied about their service in the Chinese military and that China’s government may help her to escape. China has taken a particular interest in Tang’s case, with her incarceration fueling tension between the two countries.

Read More: U.S. Pursues Chinese Researcher at San Francisco Consulate

Newman said he’ll order Tang released after her bail has been processed and approved. The judge said the delay would give prosectuors time to ask a higher-ranking judge to keep her detained.

Tang’s prospects have improved dramatically after Malcolm Segal, a former prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer, took her on as a client three weeks ago.

Tang had previously been denied release because she had nothing to offer to secure her bail. It was Segal who introduced Tang’s bail benefactor — who has been identified only as “Mr. C” — in court Thursday. Segal declined to reveal who’s paying his legal fees.

The case is U.S. v. Juan, 20-cr-00134, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California (Sacramento).

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