The man accused of raping a 12-year-old Claremont girl appeared in court Monday morning and entered a plea of not guilty. Joseph Chandler Davall was arraigned in Pomona Superior Court on seven felony counts in Los Angeles County, including two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child; one count each of forcible rape; sexual penetration by foreign object; and assault to commit a felony during the commission of first-degree burglaries.
The bearded 34-year-old Coachella Valley man entered the courtroom in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, now baring only a slight resemblance to the sketch of the suspect released by the Claremont Police Department back in March. Shielded from the audience by his public defender, Mr. Davall appeared calm as he addressed the judge and kept his head down as he was escorted out of the courtroom by the bailiff.
Judge Jack P. Hunt set a preliminary hearing and pretrial date for July 14.
The date farmer is accused of attacking and raping the preteen girl on March 21 while she slept in her Claremont home. The victim’s father and her younger sibling were both away from the residence—although they were not together—when the alleged crime occurred.
As the COURIER previously reported, in addition to the seven felony counts in Los Angeles County, Mr. Davall has been charged in the past with various other crimes in San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Ventura County. Those charges include but are not limited to: assault with intent to rape, public intoxication, indecent exposure, grand theft as well as reckless driving and other traffic-related offenses.
The suspect was taken into custody at his Yucca Valley home on April 18 after a short pursuit involving Claremont police and the San Bernardino Sheriff. Police previously confirmed evidence relating to the Claremont crime was found at Mr. Davall’s residence. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office confirmed authorities linked the date farmer to the Claremont attack through the Combined DNA Index System.
Mr. Davall remains in custody in Men’s Central Jail in lieu of $5 million bail. If convicted as charged, the accused faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.