A vigilante attack on a rape suspect will mean a trial for a father and his teenage daughter in California.
The pair, along with a friend of the teenage girl, will face attempted murder and mayhem charges after they allegedly lured a 21-year-old man to a park and beat him with a baseball bat.
Police said 21-year-old Esteban Cruz was lured to a park in Temecula, California, by the 16-year-old girl. She had told her father and a friend, 20-year-old Andre Edwin Dickerson, that Cruz had raped her after she passed out drunk in his bed in November.
When Cruz arrived to the park, Dickerson beat him with a baseball bat in a vigilante attack while the father and daughter watched. Cruz suffered skull fractures, broken bones, a lung injury, and lost teeth in the attack.
The girl’s attorney, David Grande, tried to paint Cruz as a predator out for young girls. Grande showed a text message from Cruz asking the girl to drink, smoke marijuana, and have sex with him. When the girl asked why he wanted to have sex with a 16-year-old, Cruz reportedly replied, “It’s the thing I do.”
After the girl’s charges came to light, police investigated Cruz and in May he was charged with sodomy with a minor. He is currently in jail on $50,000 bail.
After pleading not guilty to the vigilante attack in California, the trio were ordered to stand trial.
“Obviously, vigilante justice isn’t a defense to a criminal charge,” said Judge Michael Rushton.
This is not the only vigilante attack in the news this week. In Bolivia a suspect accused of raping a murdering a girl was attacked and buried alive at the 17-year-old victim’s funeral. This manner of vigilante attacks have become common in Bolivia in indigenous areas to the point that Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous president, signed a law extending institutional recognition of “indigenous justice.”