Alleged Henderson child rapist appeared in court
October 17, 2007
LAS VEGAS ” The man accused of abusing a little girl in an explicit sex videotape was arraigned Wednesday on 23 felony charges that could land him in prison for life.
Chester Arthur Stiles, 37, did not enter pleas during the two-minute hearing in front of Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis.
He waived a reading of the charges and spoke briefly to confirm that he could not afford a lawyer. The charges include lewdness with a child under 14, sexual assault of a child under 14, attempted sexual assault with a minor under 14 and use of a minor in producing pornography. Three charges date back to a separate alleged molestation of a 6-year-old girl in December 2003.
Stiles was arrested Monday during a traffic stop in Henderson, southeast of Las Vegas. He had been the subject of a massive manhunt after authorities released images of him from the video.
Stiles stood wearing blue jail scrubs, his eyes downcast and with unkempt hair over his forehead. He was surrounded by six armed and uniformed court officers.
His fists shackled at his side to a chain belt, Stiles said “No ma’am,” when asked if he could afford a lawyer.
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The judge appointed Deputy Public Defender Jeff Banks to represent him.
Outside court, Banks characterized Stiles as “down in the mouth” but said he expected he would fight the charges at future hearings.
“Of course he’s going to plead not guilty,” Banks told reporters.
Court administrator Chuck Short said Stiles had received death threats, so security was tightened for Stiles and his lawyer.
No bail was set, but Banks said he might seek bail later.
Stiles faces multiple terms of life in prison if convicted.