A Murrieta man who is accused of committing multiple rapes throughout the area was ordered to stand trial today.
is charged with seven counts of rape by force, four counts of robbery, two counts of oral copulation by force and one count each of kidnap for rape, assault with intent to commit rape, and sexual penetration by a foreign object. Also included are allegations of sexual offense of a kidnapped victim, sexual offenses with more than one victim, and personal use of a firearm.
Friday Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michael Rushton ordered Williams to stand trial on the 16 felonies in connection with the alleged rapes of five women and attempted sexual assault of a sixth. The judge’s decision came after listening to two days of testimony at a preliminary hearing, according to Riverside County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall.
Williams was ordered to return to court for an information arraignment on Feb. 1 at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.
There was also a bail review hearing held Friday at the request of the defense, but Rushton denied their motion to reduce Williams’ bail, Hall said. Williams is currently being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside in lieu of $10 million bail.
If convicted as now charged, Williams faces multiple life sentences, Hall said.
According to Hall, one of the victims was raped in October 2002 in the Lake Elsinore area after being kidnapped from a location in Orange County. Three other women were raped in the Temecula area in May, June and July 2012, another woman was raped in Ontario in San Bernardino County in January 2012, and a sixth was the victim of an attempted sexual assault in Temecula in July 2012, Hall said.
The victims in this case all were working as prostitutes at the time of the crimes, Hall continued. Williams reportedly met the five most recent victims through an Internet website. Williams reportedly picked up the 2002 victim on a street in Orange County.
Subsequent to an investigation by Temecula police, Williams was arrested in the city of Costa Mesa on July 27, 2012.
The investigation into this case and any other potential victims is ongoing, Hall said.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Sean Crandell of the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit.