A Dukes County Superior Court judge reduced the bail this week for the former Oak Bluffs fire chief accused of videotaping a woman without her consent. 

John Rose, who stepped down as fire chief in 2020, asked the court to drop the $10,000 bail he had previously posted after his arraignment in January, and allow him to no longer wear the court-mandated GPS monitor. 

In his request to the court, Mr. Rose’s attorneys said he has deep roots in the community and the GPS monitor regularly loses cell service, potentially causing issues. They asked that he be allowed out on personal recognizance.

“Mr. Rose is not a flight risk,” Mr. Rose’s attorneys wrote. “He and his immediate and extended family are lifelong residents of Martha’s Vineyard; his ties to the community cannot be questioned.”

On Thursday, Hon. Renee Dupuis granted the request ahead of Mr. Rose’s May 30 court date, saying the court improperly required the GPS under case law. 

Bail in Massachusetts is set to ensure that a person returns for the next court date. It is not designed as a form of punishment nor met to be an indicator of someone’s innocence or guilt. 

In this case, the state should have gotten Mr. Rose’s consent to place a GPS monitor on him, Judge Dupuis ruled. 

Mr. Rose was charged in January with photographing, videotaping or electronically surveilling a partially nude or nude persons, after investigators claimed he secretly taped a woman while they had sex. 

Police arrested Mr. Rose at Logan Airport on Jan. 20 after his flight from Florida back to Massachusetts landed. During his arraignment, the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office said it appeared Mr. Rose left the Island in a hurry after he was informed he was being investigated, leaving his residence with an open and empty dresser, rotting food and the heat turned off. 

Mr. Rose’s attorneys in the bail request said Mr. Rose was coming back from a 30-day patient treatment program in Florida and they had agreed he would turn himself in if charges were brought against him. 

Prosecutors sought the $10,000 bail because they thought Mr. Rose was a flight risk, and due to the nature of the charge. 

Judge Dupuis found that the $10,000 bail and monitor were not necessary, given Mr. Rose’s community ties, his lack of a criminal record and the penalty for the charge. 

“I do not find him to be a flight risk,” she wrote in her ruling. “As reprehensible as the allegations in this case are, he is presumed innocent.”