A Valencia man who pleaded guilty to a brutal Stevenson Ranch kidnapping and rape will be due back in court March 25, a prosecutor for the case said Thursday.
“The defense attorney needed a little bit more time because he just came in on the case,” said Julie Kramer, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County. “But he’ll be ready to go on (March 25).”
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Judge Lloyd Nash of Department H at Los Angeles Superior Court in San Fernando will then have two option, Kramer said.
“If he grants the motion, then the case goes back through a preliminary hearing,” she said. “If he denies the motion, then he’ll proceed with sentencing on (March 25).”
Moon would still be subject to the terms of his original plea deal, if Nash denies the motion for a new trial.
“The judge is allowing the defendant to make a motion to withdraw his plea, but the defendant wanted to hire a new attorney,” said Julie Kramer, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County. “(Judge Lloyd Nash) hasn’t ruled on the motion yet.”
In March, Nash will decide whether Moon will have to face the initial terms of the deal that he agreed to when he was due to be sentenced January 30 in Department H.
Moon may still have to face his original plea, which would place him behind bars for nearly four decades, due to California sentencing guidelines that require offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their time for violent crimes.
The judge appointed a bar panel, which is the counsel who is appointed when there is a conflict with the Public Defender’s Office. The reason for the conflict was not given in court.
Moon claimed to not have understood the initial terms of the deal that he agreed to when he was due to be sentenced January 30.
Moon was facing 43 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual penetration by foreign object by means of force, forcible oral copulation and forcible rape in December. The crime occurred in January 2011.
“(The case) was continued to give the new attorney time to make a new motion,” Kramer said.
Kramer works with the Victim Impact Program unit of the San Fernando courthouse where the case is being tried.
Moon was facing 43 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual penetration by foreign object by means of force,forcible oral copulation and forcible rape in front of in December.
Today's hearing was set for probation and sentencing in Department H.
On Feb. 28, Moon will either be sentenced or could be granted a trial date, depending on the outcome of Nash's ruling.
Moon was initially was charged with 17 felony counts, including attempted murder, forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence, first-degree residential robbery, first-degree burglary and multiple counts of sexual assault for his Jan. 8 assault, according to Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Moon's sentence and restitution hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30 in Department H in San Fernando.
The agreement disposing of the case was that Moon will be sentenced to 43 years to life. He also will have to register as a sex offender.
The following details were provided by Lt. Stephen Low at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, at the time of Moon's arrest:
“A residential robbery was reported to patrol deputies who learned that an adult female at the (Stevenson Ranch) location was sexually assaulted during the robbery. Members of the Sheriff’s Crime lab responded to the location and processed the crime scene collecting several pieces of evidence.
Detective Campbell from the Santa Clarita Valley Detective Bureau Robbery/Assault team also responded and started the investigation.
“Detective Campbell worked closely with the Stevenson Ranch Homeowner’s Association which assisted in providing video footage near the crime scene. Detectives from the Robbery/Assault team combed the neighborhood for information and witnesses.
“A series of small clues, DNA evidence, and the skilled detective work by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Campbell helped provide the information needed to identify the suspect responsible for this vicious attack.
“Through department resources, Detective Campbell was able to obtain a recent photo of the potential suspect and his last known address. On Feb. 16, 2012, Detectives conducted a surveillance of the suspect’s residence and saw the suspect exiting his residence. He was taken into custody without incident.
“Detectives from the Santa Clarita Robbery/Assault Team served a search warrant at the suspect’s home on Steinbeck Avenue in Stevenson Ranch. Detective Campbell recovered property that appeared to be connected to the incident at the location."
Leon Worden of SCVNEWS.COM contributed to this report.
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