Man Accused of Raping Mar Vista Teen, Holding Her for 3 Weeks Pleads Not Guilty

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Samuel Robert Duran Jr. walks into Airport Courthouse for his arraignment on April 16, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

Samuel Robert Duran Jr. walks into Airport Courthouse for his arraignment on April 16, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

The 33-year-old man accused of raping a 15-year-old Mar Vista girl with autism while allegedly holding her in his home for three weeks made his first court appearance on Thursday.

Samuel Robert Duran Jr. appeared at the Airport Courthouse, where he pleaded not guilty to a dozen counts in connection with the case. He waived his rights to a speedy preliminary hearing and was expected to return to court on May 13.

Duran was charged with three counts of rape, six counts of forced oral copulation and three counts of forced digital penetration, according to the release.

Prosecutors were expected to ask that Duran’s bail be raised from $8 million to $14.4 million. The bail was set at $12 million.

Earlier in the day, Duran was charged with a dozen counts in connection with the case, including three counts of rape, six counts of forced oral copulation and three counts of forced digital penetration, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The criminal complaint also included allegations of tying and binding, prosecutors said.

The incidents were alleged to have occurred between March 25 and April 13.

Authorities arrested Duran after the teen — who disappeared after going for a walk on March 24 — was rescued by police on Monday from his Culver City residence and reunited with her mother.

“She’s been through a lot and life will never be the same,” the girl’s mother said. “I’m very relieved. However, I want to make sure there is punishment for the crime.”

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were able to locate the girl after she made a phone call for help that was traced to Duran’s home, a news release from the DA’s office said.

Duran was living in a unit behind his grandparents’ home. Relatives there told KTLA on Tuesday that they had no idea the victim was there.

“If anything had happened to her, any noises, I would have heard that,” an uncle said.

Duran may have mental health problems, his grandfather said.

“Sam’s a good person. He’s a good guy. He doesn’t bother anybody,” the uncle said. “He’s always in his room all the time.”