PRESCOTT - A judge on Tuesday refused to give Eduardo Arteaga-Vera, accused of the kidnapping and attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl, a new public defender, noting that it was his second such request.
Arteaga-Vera, 54, was indicted on charges of kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, stalking and aggravated assault.
He offered a ride to the girl as she was walking to work in Prescott Valley in July 2011, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
D'Evelyn said that Arteaga-Vera instead drove her to the Drake Road area off Highway 89 along Forest Road 680, and then attempted to sexually assault her.
The victim was able to escape and hid from him.
In October, Arteaga-Vera turned down a plea agreement, saying, "I can't plead guilty to something I didn't do."
Tuesday, before Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley, through a translator, he said he was "really frustrated" with how the case has been handled, first by attorney M. Alex Harris, then by David Shapiro, his current lawyer.
Deputy County Attorney Cynthia Spitler pointed out that the alleged victim's family was in the courtroom, as they have been for previous appearances.
"While the state recognizes the issues raised (by Arteaga-Vera's request)," she said, the delays in getting a trial underway were unfair to them.
Ainley agreed, telling Arteaga-Vera that she "put the blame with you" for the problems he's had with his attorneys, and said that, given the fact he's on his second one and showed her no reason to assume he couldn't work with Shapiro, she would reject his request.
Ainley confirmed his trial date, set to start Feb. 27.