A Jan. 13 preliminary hearing was set today for a Thermal man accused of sexually assaulting two underage sisters over a period of several years.
The hearing will determine if there is enough evidence for 25-year-old Elpidio Torres-Salinas to proceed to trial on 10 felony counts, including rape by force and aggravated sexual assault of a minor. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
In late June, Riverside County sheriff's deputies investigating the alleged sexual assault of a minor in the 76000 block of Pierce Street in Thermal identified Torres-Salinas as the suspect and obtained a felony warrant for his arrest, Sgt. Steve DaSilva said.
According to a declaration filed in support of an arrest warrant, Torres- Salinas is accused of sexually assaulting a now-14-year-old girl multiple times beginning in 2008 when she was 10, including raping her twice -- most recently in June of this year.
He also allegedly sexually assaulted the girl's now-16-year-old sister multiple times, starting in 2009 when she was 12 and continuing until she was 14.
In June, the 14-year-old was babysitting for Torres-Salinas' wife when he allegedly started touching her legs, so she ran into the bathroom, according to the declaration.
``Elpidio came into the bathroom. Elpidio then closed and locked the door behind him. (She) said Elpidio picked her up, set her onto the counter and vaginally raped her,'' sheriff's Investigator Kenneth Willow wrote.
The previous month, the girl was alone in her sister's room at her home in Thermal when Torres-Salinas ``suddenly came into the room, threw her onto the bed and vaginally raped her,'' Willow alleged.
He also allegedly forced the girl to have oral sex with him and touched her breasts ``a lot,'' according to the declaration.
The girl's 16-year-old sister alleged that Torres-Salinas touched her private parts and forced her to have oral sex with him.
`(She) could not estimate how many times Elpidio touched her private parts between ages 12 to 14. (She) said, `There were so many I don't remember,''' Willow wrote, adding that the girl alleged that Torres-Salinas threatened to rape her if she told anyone.
Torres-Salinas fled the Coachella Valley when the 14-year-old girl reported the alleged assaults, according to the declaration. He was arrestedSept. 4 in Bakersfield.