A Pismo Beach man is being held at San Luis Obispo County Jail on $1.1 million bail on charges that he kidnapped, assaulted and raped an intoxicated woman.
David Ebrahimi Ardebili, 38, was charged in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Friday with kidnapping to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated victim and assault with intent to commit rape. If convicted on the kidnapping charge, he could receive up to life in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham declined to discuss details of the case other than to say Ardebili was arrested July 19 by the Atascadero Police Department. He was detained at the Lady Luck Cafe in Paso Robles, where he works as a chef, according to his attorney, David Vogel.
The complaint says Ardebili “did unlawfully kidnap and carry away Jane Doe.”
Cunningham said the charges “are serious and violent crimes” and that the high bail was justified because Ardebili would be a danger to the public if released.
Vogel said the criminal charges are the result of a misunderstanding.
“The crime he’s charged with is extremely serious. The conduct he engaged in is not,” Vogel said.
Vogel said the allegations against his client stem from when he met the woman while she was in town visiting family. The two ended up at Atascadero Lake Park, Vogel said, where the woman later told police Ardebili assaulted her. The woman told police she remembered her phone being placed in Ardebili’s trunk, resulting in the kidnapping charge being filed, Vogel said.
Vogel said he knows Ardebili from representing him on traffic matters and claims he is not a violent person and criticized the bail amount as excessive.
“I think it’s an example of how the bail system needs to be changed,” Vogel said. “The bail is based on assuming the truth of the allegation, so my client stands no chance of being released on that high bail, and he’s being punished for a crime he did not commit.”
Ardebili is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing, where a judge will hear probable cause on the charges Aug. 3.
Correction: This article was updated to correctly reflect what attorney David Vogel said about the allegation for the kidnapping charge.