A California man and his teen daughter are facing attempted murder and mayhem charges after the pair allegedly planned the beating of a 21-year-old rape suspect.
On Friday, Judge Michael Rushton ordered David Ray Mills, 36, his 16-year-old daughter and her friend Andre Edwin Dickerson, 20, to stand trial for taking part in a vigilante attack.
The three allegedly lured 21-year-old Miguel Estaban Cruz into a Temecula park on Jan. 13. The 16-year-old, who was not identified, claimed that Cruz had raped her while she was passed out drunk in November.
When Cruz went to the park, Dickerson allegedly beat him with a bat while Mills and his daughter watched. Cruz suffered a skull fracture, broken bones, lost teeth and an lung injury.
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“Obviously, vigilante justice isn’t a defense to a criminal charge,” Rushton told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The three pleaded not guilty to the charges. Mills and Dickerson are jailed on $1 million bail each. The minor is being held at juvenile hall on $1 million bail.
The 16-year-old’s attorney, David Grande, said the girl did not report Cruz for rape because she was afraid of retaliation.
Grande read a text message exchange from Cruz to the girl in court, in which he invited her to his home to smoke marijuana, drink alcohol and have sex.
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When the girl texted him asking why he wanted to sleep with a 16-year-old girl, the alleged rapist responded, “It’s the thing I do.”
Cruz was charged with sodomy of a minor in May. Arrested Friday, he is held on $50,000 bail.