A Sussex County Superior Court judge denied an increase in bail for a Georgetown man charged with rape, despite two new charges filed since his original arrest.
Deputy Attorney General Casey L. Ewart asked Sussex Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes to increase bail for Clay Conaway by $50,000 – $40,000 for attempted second-degree rape and $10,000 for a strangulation, charges included in a Nov. 19 grand jury indictment. Conaway, 22, was first indicted Aug. 20 on first-degree rape; on Sept. 24 was indicted on six new counts of second-degree rape.
Conaway's attorney, Joseph Hurley, told Stokes that the $310,000 secured bond posted by Conaway's parents should be sufficient.
“Just to throw $50,000 on the pile when there is no risk to the community … I don't think this is the purpose of bail,” he said.
Hurley said his client has abided by his bail terms since his release to house arrest Oct. 1, and he expects there will be no issues moving forward.
Conaway, dressed in a brown suit, did not speak during his hearing.
“I think it is appropriate to assure his appearance,” said Sussex Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes in allowing Conaway's bond to stand.
After the hearing, Hurley said he knows of no pending indictments or new charges against Conaway, who now faces seven accusers. “If there was something, then they would have said there was,” he said.
Hurley said he plans to file a motion that would keep all seven cases separate, or at least most of them. Separate jury trials would prevent jurors from being swayed by evidence presented in each case, he said.
“Then we'll have one trial or maybe several different ones,” he said, adding he expects the first trial in June.
Conaway faces 25 years to life in prison for each rape charge. In all but the two early cases, dating back to 2013 and 2014, Hurley said, Conaway met the young women on dating sites, Bumble and Tindr, where people post photos of themselves. Hurley said the women chose Conaway.
“The lady gets to choose. It's a known hook-up site,” he said.
Attorney General’s Office spokesman Carl Kanefsky said the office has no comment on the case.