A Mecca man accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in Desert Hot Springs, attempting another assault less than a mile from the first and burglarizing a homeless shelter must stand trial on five felony charges, a judge ruled Thursday.
Angel Lua, 21, allegedly got into the youngster’s home in the 67000 block of Two Bunch Palms Trail just before midnight last June 10 through an unlocked window and fled before officers arrived. An arrest warrant declaration alleges that investigators used fingerprints left at the crime scene to identify him as the suspect.
He was subsequently identified as a suspect in a second attempted assault on June 25 in the 13000 block of Verbena Drive, just north of the Two Bunch Palms Trail home, and was taken into custody on June 28 in North Shore, according to police.
At the time of the Desert Hot Springs crimes, he was the subject of a bench warrant for failing to show up in court in December 2016 for arraignment on charges of exposing himself to three girls, aged 9, 11 and 15, on three separate occasions in or around Mecca in March and April 2016.
Lua was held to answer to charges of lewd acts with a child under 14, engaging in oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under 10, sexual penetration with a foreign object, burglary and attempted burglary.
The burglary charge stemmed from a break-in at the Galilee Center in Mecca. According to an arrest warrant declaration, Lua, “a regular customer” at the homeless shelter, allegedly broke into the rear payroll office through a window and stole two company checks on April 18, 2017. A shelter employee “instantly recognized” Lua when reviewing video surveillance of the burglary, according to the declaration.
Lua, who’s being held in lieu of $2 million bail, will return to court April 19 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.