A Palm Springs man who allegedly broke into his 65-year-old neighbor’s apartment and physically and sexually assaulted her before stealing her SUV was ordered Monday to stand trial on more than a dozen felony charges.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge James S. Hawkins found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on 14 felony counts, including three counts each of attempted rape by force or fear of bodily injury and unlawful bodily injury or sexual penetration by means of force.
Demitri Deshawn Giles, 47, also faces single counts of torture, assault with intent to rape and burglary with great bodily injury, among other charges stemming from the March 18, 2019, assault, and faces a potential life prison sentence if convicted, according to prosecutors.
Hawkins scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for July 27, and kept Giles’ bail at $3 million.
Giles is accused of coaxing his way into the unidentified woman’s apartment in the 300 block of East Stevens Road by saying he had some of her mail, according to Palm Springs Police Department Sgt. Mike Casavan.
Court papers allege Giles “forcefully entered” the woman’s home about 9 a.m., struck her 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, the court documents allege.
According to police, Giles stole a cellphone and the victim’s 2007 Honda CR-V when he left the woman’s apartment after being inside for 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, authorities spotted the Honda in Riverside. Giles was located nearby and arrested.
Giles remains jailed at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
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