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Man, 18, Pleads Not Guilty To Rape Of El Monte Store Clerk

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(credit: El Monte Police Department)

(credit: El Monte Police Department)

POMONA (CBSLA.com) — An 18-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he raped a 19-year-old El Monte store clerk.

Joseph Lee Amaya been charged with two counts of forcible rape and three counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object stemming from the alleged attack last month at Peck Mini Mart,  4164 N. Peck Road.

The charges include an allegation the defendant kidnapped the victim to commit the offenses charged.

The LA County District Attorney’s Office says the victim was working the night shift when Amaya allegedly approached her.

Prosecutors say Amaya left the store but later returned to attack the clerk as she was getting ready to close the store for the night.

Amaya allegedly forced his way back in as she tried to lock the doors, then barricaded the entrance and dragged the young woman to the back of the store, where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her.

A joint effort by the U.S. Marshal’s Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force and county Sheriff’s and Probation departments led to Amaya’s arrest in West Covina on Oct. 26.

Prosecutors say four adults were helping Amaya to evade capture.

The parties have pleaded not guilty to a felony charge each of being an accessory after the fact and are awaiting a Nov. 19 hearing, according to City News Service.

Amaya faces a maximum sentence of 125 years to life in state prison.

He is due back in court Dec. 12 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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