Timothy Gutierrez
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Two suspected arsonists have upcoming court dates, with one facing a sentencing this week.

Police arrested Eugene Frankovic, age 33 at the time of the reported incident, in December and alleged he set fire to a pick-up truck. He faces sentencing on charges connected to the incident at a hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday in room 101 before Judge Thomas Breen, according to court records.

Firefighters responded to the 600 block of A Street for a report of two vehicles on fire and put them out before the blazes spread to the nearby home. The fire marshal then determined the fires originated in the back of a pick-up truck and spread to another vehicle parked behind it. Hollister police developed leads and linked the suspected arson to the home’s previous resident, Frankovic. He was booked at the San Benito County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

Jason W. Spears, 33 at the time of his arrest, is the other arson suspect. He was arrested after neighbors reported he was trying to set fire to a local condominium in early February. He faces a scheduled preliminary hearing – where a judge can decide if there is enough evidence for a trial – at 8:30 a.m. June 24 in room 101 before Judge Steven Sanders.

During the early morning hours Feb. 9, a resident of the Gibson Station complex witnessed Spears, who is also a resident there, attempting to set fire to a condominium, police alleged. The witness later spoke to neighbors who confronted and detained Spears before calling police.

Authorities found several areas on multiple condominiums where Spears allegedly attempted to set fire to the units. No serious damage was done. Spears was arrested on charges alleging four counts of arson to an inhabited structure. He was booked into the San Benito County Jail.

Earlier that morning, police also responded to Luminous Salon located at 219 South St. for a similar arson. An exterior wall, interior curtain and light fixture were damaged by fire. Evidence linking Spears to this arson was recovered on him when he was arrested.

In other court matters:

– The Hollister martial arts instructor accused of sexually assaulting a minor had a preliminary setting delayed until June.

Timothy Gutierrez, 51 at the time of the arrest last month, had been an instructor at Technique Studio on Sixth Street. He was accused of sexually assaulting a female under age 14.

Gutierrez had a scheduled preliminary setting delayed last week. It is now set for 2 p.m. June 4 in room 101 before Sanders.

According to a police report, officers arrested Gutierrez at the martial arts studio at 211 Sixth St. in Hollister. Police reported that the victim’s parent alleged there was inappropriate contact between the child, who was a student at the martial arts studio until her parents were notified of it, and the instructor.

The parents reported the alleged crime to police. A police statement noted that an investigation by Hollister police officers, detectives, the district attorney investigators and Child Protective Services staff members produced probable cause for an arrest.

Gutierrez was booked into the San Benito County Jail accused of one charge of lewd acts with a child and one charge of sexual penetration. He was being held on $550,000 bail.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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