Dion Peralta Duran
Dion Peralta Duran. Photo: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

A Desert Hot Springs man accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl and threatening a woman with a sledgehammer in May pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple felony charges.

Dion Peralta Duran, 37, posted bail following his initial arrest in May, and charges of lewd acts with a child under 14 and assault with a deadly weapon were separately filed against him in June and July, respectively. Authorities caught up with him on Tuesday, and he was booked into the Murrieta jail.

A declaration in support of an arrest warrant alleges Duran molested the girl multiple times at a Desert Hot Springs home, most recently on May 29. The girl confided in a family friend, and the allegations were backed up by a forensic medical examination, according to the declaration.

The following day, a sheriff’s deputy allegedly saw Duran threatening a woman with a sledgehammer.

In a separate declaration, the deputy states that he was investigating a shooting at a home in the area and that Duran was a victim in that incident. However, during his investigation, the deputy alleges he saw Duran near a woman’s home and then observed him approach her with a “40 oz. Snap On brand sledgehammer.”

The deputy took Duran into custody at gunpoint after seeing him approach the woman.

Duran, who’s being held on $1 million bail, will return to court Aug. 28 for a felony settlement conference.

–City News Service

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