Preliminary hearing set for man accused of 6 rapes

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After more than a year of failed attempts to set a date for a preliminary hearing, a Canyon Country man accused of raping more than a half-dozen women while allegedly posing as a rideshare driver had a court date set Monday.

Nicolas Morales, 45, who was arraigned on 27 felony counts more than over a year ago, appeared Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court to set a date for a preliminary hearing. 

He was ordered to appear back in court next week for a preliminary hearing Aug. 5, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Monday.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evidence in the case, and the defense can respond, after which the judge will decide if the case should go to trial.

Morales is charged with: nine counts of forcible oral copulation; six counts of rape; five counts sodomy by use of force; four counts of sexual penetration by foreign object; and one count each of assault with intent to commit a felony, attempted sodomy by use of force and attempted kidnapping to commit another crime. 

The felony complaint also includes multiple victims and allegations that he used a knife. 

Morales was arrested in Alhambra on Feb. 23 by officers of the Alhambra Police Department, court records show.

 If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 300 years to life in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration.

 [email protected] 661-287-5527 On Twitter @jamesarthurholt   

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