Man pleads innocent in rape, kidnapping

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WALLA WALLA -- A man pleaded innocent Monday to charges stemming from a reported rape and kidnapping more than three years ago.

Juan C. Villegas, 25, who lists an address in Fontana, Calif., is scheduled for trial March 15 in Walla Walla County Superior Court on the charges of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and felony harassment.

Officials claim Villegas abducted a female acquaintance from outside her place of employment in Walla Walla the afternoon of Nov. 19, 2006. She told authorities Villegas persuaded her to get into his car, drove off and threatened to kill her, according to a police report filed in court.

Villegas allegedly took her into the county -- possibly around Lower Waitsburg Road -- where he raped her in the vehicle and then took her home at her urging, the police report says.

The criminal charges against Villegas were filed in February 2007 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He subsequently was apprehended and booked into the County Jail late last month. Bail has been set at $100,000.

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