Charges filed in Culver City sexual assault case that led to arrest in SCV

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By Signal Staff

County District Attorney George Gascón and Culver City Police Chief Jason Sims held a news conference Tuesday announcing felony charges in a case that ended with the suspect being arrested in the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Marcos Maldonado was charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in her Culver City home.  

“I am committed to prosecuting cases involving sexual violence, especially when they target some of our most vulnerable community members, including children,” Gascón said in a news release. 

“From the day this disturbing and tragic crime occurred, Culver City Police Department investigators have worked tirelessly to solve this case,” Sims said in the release. “I want to thank all our partners who worked alongside our detectives to ensure this suspect was identified and located as quickly as possible. Thank you to the LA Impact Task Force, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab, the UCLA Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for your partnership.” 

Maldonado, 35, is charged with two counts of forcible rape of a child under 14 years; one count of sodomy by use of force – victim under age 14; and two counts of sexual penetration by use of force of victim under 14. 

It is further alleged that at the time the offenses were committed, the victim was a child under 14. It also is alleged that the defendant committed the offenses during the commission of a burglary and engaged in the tying or binding of the victim. 

After identifying him through DNA evidence, Culver City investigators tracked Maldonado to a downtown Los Angeles hotel, where he was seen Jan. 3 boarding a bus that headed northbound on Interstate 5 toward Bakersfield, according to a Culver City police news release. 

With assistance from L.A. County Sheriff’s Department deputies, the bus was pulled over on I-5 in Santa Clarita and the suspect was arrested. 

Maldonado pleaded not guilty to all charges at an arraignment on Monday. A preliminary hearing setting is scheduled Feb. 15 in Department 31 at the Airport Courthouse. 

On Dec. 2, the DA’s release said, Maldonado allegedly broke into the 12-year-old victim’s Culver City home through an upstairs balcony during the early morning hours where he proceeded to sexually assault her over the course of three hours. 

Maldonado was identified by the victim in a photo lineup. His bail was set at $1.8 million at his arraignment. If convicted as charged, Maldonado will face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, the DA’s release said. 

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