Bail doubled for COD sexual assault suspect

Mental health hearing set next week for 28-year-old accused of assaulting two women on Palm Desert campus

INDIO, Calif. - A judge doubled the bail Tuesday for a 28-year-old College of the Desert student suspected of sexually assaulting two women at the Palm Desert campus.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Graham A. Cribbs raised bail for Palm Desert resident Jesse Timothy Lara from $25,000 to $50,000 at the prosecution's request at a hearing at Indio's Larson Justice Center. 

Lara, who pleaded not guilty last month to a pair of misdemeanor sexual battery counts, has a mental health hearing scheduled for Oct. 10, according to court records.

Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Julio Oseguera said authorities went to COD on September 17th to speak with the two alleged sexual battery victims. Both were allegedly approached by Lara, one on September 16th and the other on September 12th -- on the campus, but officials did not reveal whether they were students.

A COD statement last week said the assaults involved ``unwanted touching'' and that the college was ``moving forward to have the student expelled.''

Students and employees were notified and told to call campus security if they were victims of a sexual assault, unwanted touching or other crimes on campus, according to COD's statement.

Lara is being held at the county jail in Blythe, according to jail records.

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