TEMECULA (AP) — A Riverside County father and teen daughter were ordered to stand trial Friday in a vigilante attack on a man the girl has accused of rape.
Judge Michael Rushton ruled Friday that David Ray Mills, 36, his 16-year-old daughter and her friend Andre Edwin Dickerson, 20, will face attempted murder and mayhem charges.
“Obviously, vigilante justice isn’t a defense to a criminal charge,” Rushton said before wondering aloud how a jury would react to the case.
All three pleaded not guilty to the Jan. 13 attack, when investigators say Miguel Esteban Cruz, 21, was lured to a Temecula park and beaten with a baseball bat.
Dickerson beat Cruz with a baseball bat as the girl and her father watched, Cruz told sheriff’s investigators.
Cruz suffered skull fractures, a lung injury, broken bones and missing teeth, investigator David Gorlicki testified.
The girl’s attorney David Grande read a text message exchange between the girl and Cruz in court, in which Cruz invited the girl to drink, smoke marijuana and have sex.
After telling him she wasn’t interested, the girl sent Cruz a text asking why he wanted to have sex with a 16-year-old.
“It’s the thing I do,” he wrote.
Grande said the girl didn’t report the rape because she feared retaliation.
Dickerson’s attorney called Cruz a predator after Friday’s hearing.
Sheriff’s officials say Cruz was investigated after the girl’s allegations came to light. He was charged in May with sodomy with a minor. He was arrested Friday and is being held on $50,000 bail.
The girl told her father and Dickerson of the alleged rape on the day of the attack. She said Cruz raped her after she passed out drunk on Cruz’s bed in November.
Dickerson and Mills are jailed on $1 million bail, each. The girl is at juvenile hall, also on $1 million bail.