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Trial set for Santa Maria man accused of beating girl in Arroyo Grande

Fernando Frias, 23, of Santa Maria was arrested Wednesday, May 26, 2010, on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole. Original story »Plea: Not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and making criminal threatsWhat's next: Trial by jury scheduled for 2/28/11.
Fernando Frias, 23, of Santa Maria was arrested Wednesday, May 26, 2010, on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole. Original story »Plea: Not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and making criminal threatsWhat's next: Trial by jury scheduled for 2/28/11.

The case against a Santa Maria man accused of beating an Arroyo Grande teenager with the intent to rape her in 2010 is scheduled to go to trial in March.

Fernando Frias, 24, had pleaded not guilty in the May 26, 2010, assault against a 17-year-old girl. He also pleaded not guilty to an alleged rape of a woman in Los Angeles in 2006.

Judge Barry LaBarbera consolidated the Arroyo Grande and Los Angeles cases on Monday, meaning both will be decided in his courtroom.

Police suspected Frias of the Los Angeles sexual assault after matching DNA evidence to a sample authorities took from him after his arrest in San Luis Obispo County.

Frias is scheduled to appear before LaBarbera on Jan. 23 for a pre-trial conference and then again March 19 for a jury trial.

Locally, the 17-year-old girl testified at a preliminary hearing in August that she feared Frias was planning to rape her when he hit her at least three times with a rock after throwing her into the bed of Arroyo Grande Creek near the Fair Oaks Avenue bridge. A bystander intervened and scared Frias away, according to police.

In the Los Angeles incident, the alleged victim told police that she was walking down a street when two men saw her and threatened to kill her, then raped her in an alley.

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