SAN MATEO, CA — San Mateo County Judge Jeffery Finnigan has denied 42-year-old Joshua Gamos’ request for his bail to be reduced from $3 million to $300,000.
Joshua and his other family members — 67-year old Carlina, 38-year old Gerlen, and 40-year old Noel — face a variety of charges: including human trafficking, grand wage theft amounting to some $8.5 million, tax evasion, and illegal possession of firearms.
The Gamoses operated Rainbow Bright, a child and adult residential care company in San Mateo County.
They allegedly abused more than 100 employees in over ten years. Most of the workers were reportedly undocumented Filipinos.
Among his family members, Joshua — who also faces rape charges — is the only one still detained.
San Mateo County leaders joined Filipino American activists in protesting Joshua’s release — despite prisons’ efforts to have some inmates released to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“This case clearly is not an example of someone to have their bail lowered because of COVID 19,” said Supervisor David Canepa.
“This is a public safety issue. It’s understandable that the courts may be releasing those with no violent offenses. Joshua Gamos is charged with three counts of rape. And as a woman, and a mother, that’s a big concern to me,” said Juslyn Manalo.
Carlina and Noel were released on April 13th due to the pandemic and also because they are charged with non-violent crimes.
Gerlen has been out of custody but with conditions.
Officials said if Joshua is released — he may be a flight risk.
“We believe anybody who engages in this type of human trafficking, we do use the word alleged because he is presumed innocent, but we believe the case is strong, and that he will be convicted at some point. And at that point, it will mean nothing. If he’s not here. We have to have him here. And I think the only way to protect public safety is to have him in custody,” said Stephen Wagstaffe.
Fil-Am activists who formed the Rainbow Bright Workers Campaign Task Force have been helping workers that were allegedly abused by the Gamos family.
“It is not a simple feat to set up multiple care homes here in the U.S. to have a whole system to recruit immigrant and undocumented Filipino workers and to also evade taxes and other provisions. So we know that the Gamos family have resources.”
The Gamos family’s criminal trial is scheduled on June 17.