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Man Accused of Shooting Alleged Rapist Is Charged

A Pacoima father pleads not guilty to one count of assault in the attack on a family friend he thought had raped his daughter.

November 19, 2002|Jean Guccione | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged a Pacoima father with assault Monday for allegedly shooting a man he believed had raped his 17-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against the shooting victim on Monday, saying they lacked sufficient evidence to bring a rape case to trial.

Martin Bravo Hernandez, 39, is accused of shooting a family friend, Jose Salvador Argueta, 25, three times with a .25-caliber handgun Thursday night as Argueta sat in his car in the parking lot of Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley.

Hernandez pleaded not guilty Monday to one felony count of assault with a firearm and denied the special allegations of using a firearm and causing great bodily injury, Deputy Dist. Atty. Daniel Damon said.

Hernandez, who has no known criminal history, faces as much as 17 years in prison, Damon said. Police said Hernandez had overheard his daughter tell her brother and her boyfriend that Argueta sexually assaulted her earlier that day at Sepulveda Recreation Park.

Argueta was alleged to have offered the teenager a ride, then driven her to the park, where he assaulted her, police said. Afterward, Argueta allegedly drove the girl home.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Carolyn McMary said she had declined to file a rape charge against Argueta because the evidence was insufficient. She declined to elaborate.

Argueta, who suffered wounds to his torso, a leg and both hands, was treated at County-USC Medical Center and released, Damon said. He was still in custody at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles late Monday, authorities said.

Hernandez, who was arrested late Thursday, was being held at the Inmate Reception Center in lieu of $85,000 bail.

He is scheduled to return to court Dec. 9 in San Fernando.

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