Virginia City man to be tried for rape |

Virginia City man to be tried for rape

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Eric Pierson, right, and his attorney William O'Mara listen to the prosecutor speak in Virginia City Justice Court on Friday. Pierson is charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault.

A judge determined Friday that there is enough evidence to try a Virginia City man on charges of rape.

Eric Brian Pierson, 52, was bound over by Senior Judge Edward R. Johnson on two counts of sexual assault and one count of battery with the intent to commit sexual assault.

The preliminary hearing, which began Feb. 22 and was continued to Friday, ended just before noon with the state’s final witness – the victim – testifying that Pierson raped her on May 21, and again on June 1 after he came home drunk.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 21 Pierson raped the woman with whom he had a relationship and on June 1, he grabbed her by her throat, lifted her off the ground, and raped her.

Pierson’s attorney William O’Mara attempted to show that through her rape allegations, the victim was enacting revenge against Pierson for a failed relationship the couple had.

“It’s all made up. It doesn’t make sense,” O’Mara said, noting that the victim’s demeanor during questioning was aggressive and not tearful, how he perceived a rape victim to react.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Grant scoffed at O’Mara’s assertions.

“I’m kind of curious to know if Mr. O’Mara is qualified to make statements on how the victims of sexual assault act,” she said.

Pierson remains free on bail.

A date has yet to be set in district court.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.