Society

Father and Teen Daughter Go on Trial for Fighting Back Against Rape Suspect

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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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.

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.

Sources: Inquistr, CBS Local Los Angeles