An elderly man from Golden Hills who was arrested last August on charges including rape by force and assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm, had a pre-preliminary hearing at the Kern County Superior Court in Mojave on Thursday, Jan. 8, where it was announced that David Partovi will no longer be represented by Tehachapi attorney, Alan Klein.
The 78-year-old ― who was arrested after Kern County Sheriff's deputies responded to his residence in the 2300 block of Woodford Tehachapi Road and found a 49-year-old Persian woman bound and gagged in his garage ― will now be represented by criminal defense and immigration attorney, Ronald Carter of Bakersfield.
The victim is originally from Virginia and met Partovi on the Internet over a year ago, before she and her 11-year-old son moved in with him. The three lived together for about a month, according to Klein.
Deputies responded to Partovi's home after the victim's son reported that his mom had gone missing.
When they arrived at the home, deputies could hear faint sounds of distress coming from a detatched garage, according to Senior Deputy Dannie Bowling.
"At first we weren't sure what we were hearing, wind or something," Bowling said. "However, as we got closer, the sound became more distinct and we were able to determine that it was a female voice screaming."
The victim was transported by ground ambulance to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield. It has been reported that she and her son are now back on the East Coast.
At his initial arraignment on Sept. 6, 2013, Partovi pleaded not guilty to six felony charges, including rape, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, and threaten with intent to terrorize.
"It seems a little strange to me that this would suddenly happen after they had known each other as long that they had," Klein said in a phone interview.
Carter said he did not want to elaborate on his client's decision to change lawyers.
Judge Kenneth Pritchard scheduled Partovi to be due back in court on Feb. 14 at 9 a.m. in Mojave for a preliminary hearing.
Depending on what transpires at the preliminary hearing, the judge will decide whether to have Partovi bound over for trial, Carter said. If that were to occur, Partovi would have another arraignment and then a trial date would then be set within 60 days. However, Carter said he suspects it will take longer than that before the case is brought to trial.
"It would be unusual with this kind of trial to go to court within 60 days of the arraignment," Carter said.
Partovi is currently out on one million dollar bail.