Celebrity-backed bail fund shutters after lawsuit by victim of shooter it helped free

The Bail Project's advisory board include Virgin founder Richard Branson, actor Danny Glover, musician John Legend.

Updated: December 26, 2022 - 5:11pm

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A California-based nonprofit that pays bail for people behind bars is shuttering its Las Vegas operations following a lawsuit by a local victim of a shooter it helped free despite the man's history of ignoring bail conditions, local station 8NewsNow reports.

The Bail Project posted a $3,000 bond to free Rashawn Gaston-Anderson a year ago, despite the fact that he had just returned to jail for alleged burglary and theft after being released without paying bail for "pandering and carrying a concealed weapon," the station said.

Less than a week later he shot Chengyan Wang, a waiter in the Las Vegas Chinatown district, 11 times during a robbery. Wang survived and sued the Bail Project for its pivotal role in Gaston-Anderson's release.

The nonprofit's advisory board includes Virgin founder Richard Branson, actor Danny Glover and musician John Legend. It told 8NewsNow that Gaston-Anderson's case went through the "exact same thorough review" the Bail Project does for every potential client.

The shooter, who was sentenced to 7 to 18 years in prison, claims the Bail Project did not offer him mental health services for his diagnosed schizophrenia. The nonprofit declined to discuss such details due to the litigation by Wang, filed in September, 8NewsNow said.

The Bail Project told the station it discontinued Las Vegas operations in early December as part of "restructuring."