Preliminary hearing set for man accused of sexually assaulting Indio High School student

Student had ongoing cellphone and social networking relationship with the accused

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday for a 29-year-old Indio man suspected of sexually assaulting an Indio High School student.

   Robert Jose Curiel Jr. has been charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment, both felonies. He is being held at the county jail in Indio in lieu of $30,000 bail.

   The student had an ongoing cellphone and social networking relationship with Curiel,and the two met for the first time on the morning of May 21 near a Carl's Jr. restaurant just east of Indio High School, according to the Indio Police Department.

   Curiel allegedly sexually assaulted the youth while the two were inside Curiel's vehicle, and the victim was able to get away after suffering minor injuries, according to police.

   Curiel was arrested in Indio near in the area of Burr Street and Fred Waring Avenue on May 28.

   Today's preliminary hearing will help a judge determine if there are grounds to order Curiel to stand trial.

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