UPDATE: UCI professor Rainer Klaus Reinscheid will remain in custody without bail, a judge ruled Tuesday afternoon.
Reinscheid, who is accused of setting several small fires, also had his arraignment postponed to Aug. 8. Authorities say Reinscheid also plotted to sexually assault and kill administrators and students at University High School in Irvine, which his son attended before committing suicide in May.
Dressed in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit, Reinscheid appeared to be chewing gum or tobacco while he sat in a chain-link holding tank and waited for the judge to address his case.
After the proceedings, Orange County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz spoke to reporters on the northern side of the jail.
"We clearly see him as a significant danger to public safety,” Katz said.
According to Katz, investigators found emails on Reinscheid’s cell phone that allegedly detailed his plan to murder the “unnamed students and named administrators” that he blamed for his son’s suicide.
In the emails, Reinscheid allegedly targeted three locations: Mason Park Reserve, where Reinscheid’s son killed himself; University High School, where Reinscheid’s son went to school; and the home of one of the high school administrators.
The emails contained "graphic depictions" of alleged planned sex acts and acts of violence, as well as a plan to burn down the school and then kill himself.
“They (the plans) were graphic, and they were specific,” Katz said.
“We believe that it (the threat) was credible enough to want to keep him in custody,” added Farrah Emami, Orange County district attorney spokeswoman.
Katz said the suicide of Reinscheid's son allegedly followed a school disciplinary matter, although Katz said he couldn't confirm the "nature of the discipline" and that authorities were looking into matters at the school.
Reinscheid’s emails haven't been released and authorities said they had no details about when that may happen.
A 48-year-old college professor who police believe was planning a rape and murder spree at a high school should not be released on bail, prosecutors plan to argue Tuesday in court.
Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, who teaches at UC Irvine, is accused of a rash of arsons. Reinscheid allegedly set items on fire at University High School in Irvine, at the home of a school administrator, and in Mason Park Preserve.
After arresting Reinscheid on July 24, police allegedly discovered "violent" emails the UCI professor sent detailing plans to sexually assault and murder students and administrators at University High, burn down the school and kill himself, according to the Orange County District Attorney.
According to the District Attorney, Reinscheid’s 14-year-old son, who attended University High, was disciplined at school sometime in March. Sometime after, the teenage committed suicide in Mason Park Preserve in Irvine.
For a twenty-day stretch in July, Reinscheid is accused of setting a slew of objects on fire, including newspapers, fireplace logs, brush and vegetation, a book and a plastic porch chair.
Irvine police arrested Reinscheid at 12:40 a.m. on July 24 in Mason Park Preserve, where he was allegedly trying to set a fire in the park with newspapers and lighter fluid.
Officers from Irvine Police Department, who were conducting increased patrols of the park because of the recent arsons, spotted Reinscheid and arrested him. He allegedly attempted to resist arrest. Later that day, Reinscheid posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody.
As the Irvine Police Department continued investigating, detectives found emails on Reinscheid's cellphone to his wife and one to himself in April.
According to the DA, the emails detail his plan to burn down University High School, commit sexual assaults, buy guns and murder school officials and students, and then kill himself.
Following the discovery of the emails and evidence allegedly linking the professor to additional arsons, Irvine police arrested Reinscheid again Friday evening.
Reinscheid "poses a serious threat to the community if released from custody," said the DA in a statement, and should be "held without bail in light of the dangerous, violent nature of his private e-mails."
According to his UCI profile, Reinscheid is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Professional associations include membership in the Society for Neuroscience, International Narcotics Research Conference, International Neuroendocrine Federation and Sleep Research Society.
Among his listed research interests are psychiatric disorders, neurophysiology and molecular pharmacology.
Authorities believe Reinscheid acted alone.
"We don't have any evidence that anyone else was involved in the arsons or plans to commit murder at the high school," said Farrah Emami, DA spokesperson. "It's clear that he was targeting certain places and people. It was thanks to the good work of the Irvine Police Department that they discovered the emails in which he laid out plans to commit murder."
Reinscheid is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Santa Ana. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have had suspicious contact with the defendant is asked to leave a message on the DA’s special investigations hotline at (714) 347-8544.