A Santa Barbara man charged with attempting to kidnap a 12-year-old girl in Carpinteria is scheduled to appear in Superior Court next week to set a date for his preliminary hearing on that felony charge and two additional misdemeanors.
Elias Maldonado, 51, appeared in court on Jan. 11 to set a preliminary hearing date, but the case was continued until Jan. 25.
Sheriff’s deputies announced Nov. 10 that they had arrested Mr. Maldonado on suspicion of attempted kidnapping for an incident two days earlier. According to prosecutors, the defendant is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds.
On Nov. 9, Community Resource Deputy Bryan Dickey was notified by Carpinteria Middle School staff of a kidnapping incident that had occurred at approximately 4 p.m. Nov. 8 in the 5500 block of Carpinteria Avenue near the entrance to the bicycle path.
CRD Dickey spoke with the female juvenile reporting party who provided a thorough account of the incident and a suspect description, sheriff’s officials said.
He and patrol deputies conducted a follow-up investigation, identified the suspect as Mr. Maldonado and tracked him to a motel in the 5500 block of Carpinteria Avenue. Deputies also learned that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
The next day, Nov. 9, at approximately 9:50 a.m., SRD Dickey along with patrol deputies and a Sheriff’s K-9 unit contacted Mr. Maldonado at the motel where he was taken into custody after briefly attempting to flee.
Maldonado was booked at the Main Jail on suspicion of attempted kidnapping of a child under the age of 14 (felony) and obstructing a peace officer (misdemeanor) as well as his outstanding warrant for domestic violence (felony) and false imprisonment (felony). He was being held on $150,000 bail, but sheriff’s department records Wednesday noted he is no longer in custody.
The complaint charges him with attempted kidnapping, a felony. Prosecutors allege he attempted to abduct the victim either by force or “by any other means of instilling fear,” with the intention of taking her elsewhere. The charge is a serious and/or violent felony.
Prosecutors allege aggravating factors, contending the alleged crime involved great violence, great bodily harm, threat of great bodily harm or other act disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness or callousness, and that the victim was particularly vulnerable. They also allege he engaged in violent conduct that indicates a serious danger to society.
He also is charged with two misdemeanors, one for allegedly annoying or molesting a child under 18, and the other for resisting arrest.
Prosecutors said they intend to introduce evidence of any prior acts of sexual offenses committed by the defendant.