Nathan Gastineau was out on bail, fighting six felony charges. He's accused of unlawful sex with a minor while he was on patrol. The alleged victim was a member of the sheriff's Explorer program.
Tuesday's appearance was supposed to be a routine disposition hearing, but after the judge read the Facebook post, he looked up at Gastineau and said, "What on earth were you thinking?"
Part of the posting said, "This is your Admiral. I know there've been a lot of rumors going around ... about the destruction that's been visited on my life. I would like to tell you that they're exaggerations."
Later in the post, he says, "Tomorrow, look around you. Our imperative is right there, in our friendships, in our hearts, in our statements to the media, and in ourselves. War is our imperative."
"If right now, victory seems like an impossibility, then we have something else to reach for: revenge, payback. So we will fight," Gastineau says in the post.
Gastineau's family was in court but did not comment on the Facebook post. Supporters of the former deputy rallied outside the courthouse.
"I can guarantee you that it was not as a threat or revenge or anything," said Bonnie Lucas, a friend of the defendant. "There's no way that Nathan is going to take any type of revenge or retribution because he's innocent."
But the judge was concerned and raised his bail amount by $200,000.
Bobbie Mann of the San Bernardino County D.A.'s Office said the concern came from the words "revenge" and "war."
"The page is public, so anybody can see it. He's obviously got a following, so anyone could read that however they want and it can incite all kinds of violence that we don't know about," Mann said.
Gastineau's supporters say the accusations are lies.
"I think what people need to understand is there is such a thing called a female teenage predator," Lucas said. "They have these crushes on people, and then when they don't get their way, most of the girls will just go away, but this girl has decided to take it to another level."
Gastineau is being held on $350,000 bail. His next court appearance will be on on August 25.