|David Ray Mills|
By SARAH BURGE
A Temecula father and his teen daughter must stand trial for attempted murder and mayhem in connection with the beating of a man the girl had accused of raping her, a judge ruled Friday, June 7.
“Obviously, vigilante justice isn’t a defense to a criminal charge,” Judge Michael Rushton said as he announced his decision, then wondered aloud how a jury would react to the case.
David Ray Mills, 36, his 16-year-old daughter, and her friend, Andre Edwin Dickerson, 20, have pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, mayhem, assault and vandalism, court records show. The girl has been charged as an adult.
Sheriff’s officials began investigating [name withheld], now 21, after the girl’s allegations came to light following the attack. He was charged in May with engaging in an act of sodomy with a minor, court records show. He was arrested at 2:15 p.m. Friday – as the preliminary hearing was in session – according to jail records. He is being held at the Southwest Detention Center on $50,000 bail.
The Press-Enterprise does not routinely identify possible victims of sexual crimes.
Riverside County sheriff’s investigators have said the girl, then 15, lured [name withheld] then 20, to a Temecula park the night of Jan. 13 where Dickerson beat him with a wooden baseball bat as Mills and his daughter watched. Dickerson then smashed the windows out of [name withheld]'s van and left him lying in the park, court records say.
|Andre Edwin Dickerson|
Prosecutor Scott Mason showed gruesome photos of [name withheld]'s injuries on an overhead projector in court.
Though badly hurt, [name withheld] managed to drive himself home after the attack. His mother found him and took him to a hospital. Initially, [name withheld] lied to a deputy about why he was at the park, but he later admitted he went to meet the girl. He told the deputy that he didn’t think she was responsible for the attack and didn’t want to involve her.
Gorlicki said the girl never reported the allegations of sexual assault to police, and she didn’t tell Dickerson or her father about it until the day of the attack. The girl said [name withheld] raped her in November when she spent the night at his Temecula home. She said she had been drinking vodka and passed out on [name withheld]’s bed.
Sitting in court wearing a yellow juvenile hall uniform, the girl began to cry as Gorlicki recounted her story. Her father, too, was teary-eyed throughout the hearing.
In the days leading up to the attack at Kent Hintergardt Memorial Park on Via Del Coronado, [name withheld] sent the girl a slew of obscene text messages suggesting they meet again to have sex, drink and smoke marijuana.
Her attorney, David E. Grande, read many of the messages in court, along with the girl’s responses.
“Can’t you take a hint,” she wrote. “I’m not interested.”
At one point, the girl sent [name withheld] a text asking why he was trying to have sex with a 16-year-old.
“It’s the thing I do,” he replied.
Grande said the girl, who maintains that the sex was against her will, didn’t report the rape to police because she was afraid of retaliation.
“He’s a cruiser. He’s a predator,” Dickerson’s attorney, Richard V. Swanson, said of [name withheld] after the hearing.
When investigators questioned the girl after the beating, she initially identified not Dickerson but another man as the attacker, Gorlicki said. She also accused [name withheld] of “coming on to” her at the park.
Later, she admitted asking Dickerson to beat [name withheld] up and said she, her father, Dickerson and another teen girl walked to the park together, Gorlicki said.
The girl said she planned to “act innocent” and tell [name withheld] she needed to use the bathroom, where Dickerson would be hiding with the bat.
The other teen girl – who has not been charged – told investigators that [name withheld] screamed as Dickerson beat him and described the “cracking sound” of the bat hitting his body. She said Dickerson yelled at [name withheld] during the attack, accusing him of liking to rape girls.
Dickerson and Mills are being held in jail, and the girl at juvenile hall. Bail for all three is set at $1 million.