A left-wing bail reform organization discontinued its Las Vegas chapter after it was sued for helping bail out a repeat offender who shot a restaurant worker 11 times nearly a week later.
The Bail Project — which has celebrities Danny Glover, John Legend, and Richard Branson sitting on its advisory board — ceased its Sin City operations in early December and is currently restructuring, CBS affiliate KLAS reported, citing the organization.
The shuttering of the non-profit organization comes after it became the subject of a lawsuit after posting a $3,000 bond in December 2021 for serial criminal Rashawn Gaston-Anderson, who was suspected of burglary at the time.
Six days after being released, Gaston-Anderson shot restaurant worker Chengyan Wang 11 times at the Shanghai Plaza mall located in Las Vegas Chinatown.
Gaston-Anderson, 24, was sentenced earlier this month to seven to 18 years in prison after reaching a plea deal to be convicted on charges of attempted robbery and mayhem, both with deadly weapon enhancements, NBC affiliate KSNV reported.
Although Wang survived his injuries, he suffered seven gunshot wounds, including a punctured lung and stomach.
In September, Wang filed a lawsuit against The Bail Project, Gaston-Anderson, and Shanghai Plaza owner U.S. Hui De Real Estate Investment Corp. of Law Vegas.
Wang accuses The Bail Group of failing to consider Gaston-Anderson’s criminal history before they bonded him out, including his pending and past cases of “burglary of a business, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, two counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“They’re going around as a bailing agency bailing people out with no or little due diligence,” said Wang’s lawyer Kory Kaplan stated via the Review-Journal.
The lawsuit also accuses the group of never having registered as a bail agent under Nevada’s Division of Insurance, which is legally required by the state.
In addition to the allegations against the offender and non-profit organization, Wang accused Hui De Real Estate Investment Corp. of a lack of adequate security at the plaza when he was shot.
Wang is seeking $15,000 in damages, per the lawsuit.
The Bail Project has several chapters across the U.S. but no longer lists the Las Vegas chapter on its website and has seemingly taken down the chapter page.
The organization’s stated goal is to end cash bail. Furthermore, the group once claimed in a court filing that it has bailed out “22,000 low-income people as of December 2021, with more than 72,000 court dates and an appearance rate of 92 percent,” according to the Review-Journal.
This is not the first time The Bail Project has been criticized for helping free an accused felon who would then commit another crime.
In October 2021, Travis Lang allegedly shot and killed Dylan McGinnis after The Bail Project posted Lang’s $5,000 bail in January 2021.
Lang is accused of a number of offenses dating back to 2018 and was jailed in October 2020 for possession of cocaine, a Level 6 felony. He is believed to have continued selling drugs after he was released.
In a Breitbart News Saturday interview in January 2022, McGinnes’ mother, Nikki Sterling, slammed the organization for seemingly failing to do research on Lang’s background.
“They indicate that their mission is to fight incarceration by bailing out low-income individuals but many statements I’ve seen on television made by the organization … is that they don’t actually look at the offender’s criminal history before they bail them out of jail,” Sterling said.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.