LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Mammoth Lakes surgeon charged with sex crimes against a 14-year-old Santa Barbara girl killed himself two weeks after he posted bail and was outfitted with a GPS ankle tracking device, his attorney said Wednesday.
The GPS unit was used Tuesday afternoon to find the body of Dr. Andrew Bourne, 46, in the Hot Creek fish hatchery area near Bourne's Mammoth Lakes home, attorney Ron Bamieh said. Bourne's wife made the discovery.
"I believe these charges led to his suicide," Bamieh said. "The charge of this crime is so life-altering. Dr. Bourne could not deal with the fact that everyone assumed he was guilty."
He didn't reveal the method of death.
The cause of death will be determined by the Inyo County coroner's office in Bishop, said Mono County sheriff's spokeswoman Jennifer Hansen. There was no suicide note, she said.
Bourne and co-defendant Joseph Walker, 48, were arrested Jan. 4 and charged with sexual misconduct with the teenager in a case that stretched from the eastern Sierra Nevada resort to the Santa Barbara coast.
Bourne was charged with eight counts of contacting a child with intent to commit a sexual crime and Walker was charged with one count of a committing a lewd act on a child and six counts of contacting a child with intent to commit a sexual crime.
They both pleaded not guilty.
Santa Barbara prosecutors said the defendants had a two-year relationship with the teenager. Clandestine meetings were held in Santa Barbara and in Mammoth Lakes, which the girl visited more than 100 times, according to court documents.
Bourne, a Mammoth Lakes school board member since 2008, lived with his wife and two children in the Eastern Sierra resort area.
Bail for Bourne and Walker was initially set at $1 million, but a Santa Barbara judge reduced it to $750,000 each on Dec. 10. Conditions for release included no contact with children and GPS tracking.
His lawyer said he talked to Bourne on Tuesday at about 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.
"I gave him some optimistic news about his case," Bamieh said. "I told him I thought we had a viable defense."
"This case is defensible," the attorney added. "There were a lot of assumptions about things."
Later Tuesday, Bamieh said he became concerned because he hadn't heard from Bourne and the lawyer contacted the family. Bourne couldn't be found so the GPS tracking firm was called.
"They gave the address where he was," Bamieh said.