A Palm Springs man suspected of breaking into his 65-year-old neighbor’s apartment, physically and sexually assaulting the woman then stealing her SUV pleaded not guilty Friday.
Demitri Giles, 45, pleaded not guilty to 14 felony counts: three counts each of attempted rape by force or fear of bodily injury and unlawful bodily injury or sexual penetration by means of force, and single counts of torture, assault with intent to rape, burglary with great bodily injury, false imprisonment, cruelty to an elder, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, possessing a stolen vehicle and robbery with a victim over 65, according to court records.
He faces a potential life prison sentence if convicted.
Giles is accused of coaxing his way into the unidentified woman’s apartment in the 300 block of East Stevens Road about 9 a.m. Monday by saying he had some of her mail, according to Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Casavan.
According to a court document in support of increased bail, Giles “forcefully entered” the woman’s home, struck with his fist and a small hammer, causing her face to swell, then tied her up using cords.
Giles had scissors and zip ties in his possession when he was arrested, according to the court papers.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge William Lebov raised Giles’ bail to $3 million Friday.
According to police, Giles stole a cell phone and the victim’s 2007 Honda CR-V when he left the woman’s apartment after about seven hours.
After Giles left, the woman was able to contact a neighbor, who called police just before 5 p.m. The woman was hospitalized with serious injuries.
About three hours after Palm Springs police alerted law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the victim’s vehicle,
Riverside police and county sheriff’s deputies found the victim’s vehicle in Riverside about three hours later. Giles was found nearby and arrested.
He is due back in court April 3.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: