A Los Angeles man arrested for the deaths of a model and her friend pleaded not guilty to unrelated rape charges involving four alleged victims.
Pearce, 39, was arrested on December 15 for the overdose deaths of architect Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola, 26, and model Christy Giles, 24. He was charged two days later for the separate rape and sexual assault case.
At Monday’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney Kristine Mariano said Pearce should remain behind bars on $3.4 million bail because investigators found $30,000 and a passport in Pearce’s car when he was arrested.
Pearce has not been charged for Giles and Cabrales-Arzola’s November 13 deaths, but Mariano said the investigation is continuing.
“He frequently drugs women and sexually abuses them,” Mariano said to the judge at Monday’s hearing. “I do believe he poses as a threat to the public and is a flight risk. Upon his arrest, he did try to flee and ran out the back door.”
The prosecutor added investigators found evidence that Pearce was researching about living in foreign countries that do not extradite American defendants, such as Ukraine.
Defense attorney Jacob Glucksman, who asked the judge to consider lowering his client’s bail to $100,000, argued the criminal enhancements filed by the prosecutor goes against L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón’s policies.
Glucksman said reform-minded Gascón’s policies allows for the release of defendants under certain conditions. He told the judge that Pearce, who does not have a criminal record, should also be considered to be released on a lower bail if he agrees to wear a GPS tracking device.
The defense attorney also explained the $30,000 found in Pearce’s car was from winnings from a recent Vegas trip. Glucksman said Pearce’s vehicle did not have a license plate because his client was involved in a car accident a few weeks before his arrest.
Judge Victoria Wilson, however, said she believed Pearce poses a threat to society and denied Glucksman’s motion to reduce the $3.4 million bail. The judge noted prosecutors alleged Pearce had raped one of the alleged victims with a wine bottle and threatened a victim and her family by sending them a video.
“Mr. Pearce engages in violence … he is a serial rapist,” Wilson said. “In terms of public safety and seriousness of the crimes, the court finds he is a threat to public safety.”
Pearce, 39, is facing two counts of forcible rape, one count of raping an unconscious or asleep person and one count of sexual penetration for a foreign object.
According to prosecutors, Pearce allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in 2010, raped another woman in 2019, and two more women in February and October 2020.
Mariano told The Post after Monday’s hearing that detectives are continuing to investigate Pearce’s involvement in the deaths of Giles and Cabrales-Arzola.
In a bail motion, Glucksman said Pearce works as a freelance entertainment event planner and lives paycheck to paycheck, so he would not be able to afford the minimum to pay the $3.4 million bail related to the rape charges.
At Monday’s hearing, Glucksman also said keeping Pearce in jail during the COVID surge is dangerous because Pearce suffers from pre-existing health conditions. He said Pearce has not been vaccinated against COVID.
Judge Wilson, however, said Pearce could get vaccinated through the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
Two other men, Brandt Osborn, 42, and Michael Ansbach, 47, also were arrested in connection to the deaths of Giles and Cabrales-Arzola.
Both were booked on suspicion of being accessories to manslaughter, however, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office rejected the LAPD’s case against Osborn and his arrest was retroactively reduced to a detention, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Ansbach, a cinematographer and cameraman, was released on December 16 on $100,000 bond. Prosecutors have yet to file charges against him.
Giles and Cabrales-Arzola are believed to have met the three men at an after-hours warehouse party in the Eastside of L.A. earlier on Nov. 13, but they continued their night at Pearce’s apartment on Olympic Boulevard.
Giles’ husband told The Post that authorities believe his wife and her friend were provided drugs at Pearce’s apartment.
LAPD officials said two masked men driving a Toyota Prius without license plates dumped Giles’ lifeless body at a Culver City hospital. Shortly thereafter, the men dropped Cabrales-Arzola at Kaiser Permanente in West L.A.
Cabrales-Arzola died on Nov. 24 — five days before her 27th birthday– after she was pronounced brain dead, her family said.
A picture of Cabrales-Arzola sandwiched between Ansbach and Pearce that was taken at the warehouse party also surfaced shortly after the men were arrested.
Families of the women said Giles’ last text exchange with Cabrales-Arzola said, “Let’s go,” and included a shocked emoji face.
Cabrales-Arzola replied, “Yes. I’ll call an Uber,” but the two women never made it to the car.