A convicted felon accused of luring a 15-year-old girl into his car — where he allegedly molested her — along with sex crimes involving other victims over several years in Cathedral City, must stand trial on felony and misdemeanor charges, a judge ruled Thursday.
David Sevilla Mariscal, 59, of Cathedral City was arrested three years ago stemming from incidents reported between 2015 and 2017.
During a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling ruled prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in the case.
Sterling kept the defendant’s bail at $225,000 and scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Oct. 2.
Mariscal is charged with four felonies — two counts of lewd acts on a minor child under 14 years old, and one count each oral copulation by force and sexual penetration with foreign object.
He is additionally charged with four counts of annoying or molesting a child under 18 years old and two counts of sexual battery.
Cathedral City police were summoned to Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage in March 2016 where a 15-year-old girl reported she had been sexually assaulted. She allegedly told a police officer she was walking on the street near the Del Taco drive-thru at 69070 Ramon Road when a man drove up to her, started making small talk and invited her in. Once inside, Mariscal allegedly offered her $100 in exchange for sexual acts.
After the reported sexual encounter in the vehicle, Mariscal allegedly dropped the girl off and told her he would be back with the $100, but never returned. A DNA sample matching that of the defendant was later recovered from the victim’s body.
According to Deputy District Attorney Carrie McCurdy, this was not the first time Mariscal attempted, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to pick up teenage girls walking various streets in Cathedral City.
Police officer Joseph Brooks testified he was sent to Rancho Mirage High School in June 2017 to a report of a 16-year-old girl who reported she was approached by a man in an SUV near the McDonalds at 31-545 Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City. The man offered her a ride to school, and she agreed. Once inside, she was allegedly molested before getting dropped off at school, Brooks said. She eventually picked Mariscal out of a lineup.
Police officer Jeffrey Barnett testified that a 14-year-old girl reported in September 2017 that she was approached by a slow-moving SUV while walking on Avenida del Padre, also in Cathedral City. The girl said the driver asked her if she wanted a ride, but she refused. Barnett also testified the girl reported this had happened two other times near James Workman Middle School involving the same man, in 2015 and again the following year. The girl also picked the defendant out of a lineup.
Apart from the alleged sexual assaults involving underage girls, Mariscal is also accused of groping his co-worker in 2017. She was in her mid-20s at the time. Prosecutors initially sought felony charges of assault to commit rape and false imprisonment in connection with the allegations, but Sterling ruled prosecutors only presented sufficient evidence to hold the defendant to answer on a misdemeanor sexual battery charge.
Mariscal, who has a felony conviction for robbery in Riverside County, remains out of custody on bond.