Man Ordered to Stand Trial for Threats, False Imprisonment of Girl in Jurupa Valley

The victim was reportedly able to escape and run for help when her attacker was distracted.

Courtesy Riverside County Sheriff's Department

A 22-year-old parolee accused of threatening and holding a Jurupa Valley girl against her will must stand trial on charges of false imprisonment and making criminal threats, a judge ruled Monday.

According to sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Padilla, the crime happened on the night of June 28, just west of the 60 Freeway and north of the Santa Ana River bottom, and Ismael Lopez was arrested less than a week later.

Following a preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Samuel Diaz found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on two counts each of false imprisonment and making criminal threats. However, the judge dismissed two kidnapping charges, as well as two counts of attempted lewd acts on a minor, finding insufficient evidence to justify those allegations.

The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Jan. 14. Lopez is being held in lieu of $160,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

Padilla alleged that the defendant kidnapped the victim -- identified in court documents as a girl under 14 years old -- at gunpoint  in the area of Mission Boulevard and Riverview Drive in Jurupa Valley and attempted to assault her at an unspecified location. When Lopez was distracted, the victim escaped and ran to a convenience store to call 911, the sergeant said.

Detectives obtained security surveillance videotape from the area where the girl was taken and eventually confirmed the identity of the alleged assailant, who is a documented member of an area street gang, Padilla said.

Sheriff's anti-gang task force investigators obtained an arrest warrant and located Lopez five days later on 54th Street in Jurupa Valley, where he was taken into custody without incident. At the time, the defendant had been out of state prison for just two weeks, according to Padilla.

Court documents show Lopez has prior convictions for gang activity, carrying a concealed weapon and receiving a stolen vehicle.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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