Guatemala man wanted for 2002 rape in Desert Hot Springs arraigned in court

INDIO, Calif. - A man accused of kidnapping and raping his ex-wife more
than a decade ago in the Coachella Valley, then fleeing to his native Guatemala, pleaded not guilty today to felony charges and was ordered held on $10 million bail.
Former Palm Springs resident Norman Alberto Juarez Pineda, 33, was extradited from Guatemala to face criminal charges in Riverside County. He arrived Saturday at Los Angeles International Airport, where he was picked up by a Riverside County District Attorney's Office investigator.
Pineda, who also goes by the last name Juarez, was arraigned this afternoon at the Larson Justice Center by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Thomas N. Douglass, who called the defendant a flight risk in setting the $10 million bail.
Pineda, who is due back in court on May 25 for a felony settlement conference, is charged with 15 felony counts, including rape by force, sodomy by force, kidnapping for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He faces multiple life prison terms if convicted, district attorney's spokesman John Hall said.
Pineda went to his ex-wife's Desert Hot Springs apartment in the 13300 block of Verbena Avenue around 4 a.m. on April 26, 2002, according to the District Attorney's Office. "For several hours, the victim endured a brutal attack by Pineda during which she was raped and sexually assaulted many times before he ultimately dropped her off at the emergency room entrance to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage," Hall alleged. Pineda allegedly punched and choked the woman, then bound her several times, wrapping tape around her head and mouth and tying a bra around her mouth while forcing a piece of sea coral into her mouth. He allegedly threatened her with a 10-inch knife and told her she was going to be killed.
"He told her he was going to kill her, but first, he was going to `violate' her,"' Deputy District Attorney Jeanne Roy wrote in a declaration filed in July 2007 in support of an arrest warrant.
The victim was raped, sexually assaulted with several items and sodomized during the attack, according to the prosecution.
"He ... told her that it was all her fault that he had to do these things," Roy wrote.
Pineda allegedly then forced the woman into his car and drove to his residence in Palm Springs, where he packed suitcases and took her watch, telling her he could pawn it for money. He then took her to a bank and forced her to withdraw $300 cash and give it to him before driving her to the hospital, Hall alleged.
Criminal charges were filed against Pineda in May 2002, and a warrant for his arrest was issued later that year. Hall said Pineda was deported to Guatemala after he was arrested on domestic violence allegations in Oregon, where authorities were unaware of his warrant in Riverside County. In January
2008, information about the case was sent by Riverside County district attorney's investigators to authorities in Guatemala.
Pineda was arrested in Guatemala in July 2008. It took until mid-2011 for Pineda's motions and appeals regarding his extradition to the United States to be exhausted, and about another year for his transportation to the United States to be cleared by officials in Guatemala, which has rarely extradited its citizens to the United States to face charges, Hall said.

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