A Gardnerville Ranchos man denied kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old woman, but remains in Douglas County jail on $500,000 bail.
Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl refused to decrease the bail for Kenneth Pestana, 48, at a hearing Friday in justice court. Pestana is scheduled to appear at a 9 a.m., Oct. 13 hearing.
Pestana's attorney, Arnold Brock, said the19-year-old victim made up the charges. Brock said the victim was Pestana's housekeeper.
"We certainly dispute these charges the individual alleges and we will fight them tooth and nail," he said. "We think there is a very serious problem with this woman's mental state."
Pestana has lived in the area for 11 years and has no convictions since the mid-'70s, he said. Brock sought Pestana's release on his own recognizance or by decreased bail.
EnEarl told him that the charges against Pestana were extremely serious, and that past criminal convictions coupled with other claims of violence, contributed to his decision to keep the bail.
"Mr. Brock, I need to tell you the charges against your client are extremely serious," EnEarl said "Certainly everything in this (matter) is subject to proof."
Pestana is being held on charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and providing drugs.
According to Brock, Pestana has a 1973 conviction for second-degree murder and Pestana served at least five years in prison for the crime. EnEarl asked Pestana what occurred for the conviction.
"(Another man) and I went to a 7-Eleven and he went inside and shot the clerk," he said. "I was out in my truck."
Pestana also has a 1992 charge for inflicting corporal injury upon his spouse.
The 19-year-old complaintant was a housekeeper at the man's Centerville Lane home, and allegedly exchanged housework for drugs.
"She woke up one morning handcuffed, and (Pestana) threatened her "If you leave, I'll kill you, your family, your children, and your friends," said Douglas County Chief Criminal Prosecutor Kristine Brown.
The 19-year-old claims Pestana threatened her with the knife, and sexually assaulted her for nearly a week. Investigators found a knife, handcuffs, and a cut in the bed, where the 19-year-old claims Pestana put a knife near her head.
"This is not just an uncorroborated statement," Brown said.
Brock said the woman was free to leave the house at any time. He asked for a one-minute break, spoke briefly with a young woman in the court room, and returned saying he had a woman who could tell EnEarl that she was the best friend of the victim, and that she says the victim made up the whole thing.
-- Maggie O'Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 214.