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July 23, 2014

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Bail set at $1 million for Californian accused of assaulting Las Vegas middle-schooler

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Leila Navidi

Richard Martin Schlacta appears for an appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, August 30, 2013.

Richard Schlacta in Court

Richard Martin Schlacta appears for an appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, August 30, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a middle school student earlier this week must post a $1 million bond or remain in jail, a judge ordered this morning.

Richard Schlacta, 48, who appeared in Las Vegas Justice Township Court with his hands and feet shackled, told Judge Joseph Sciscento he understood the charges and waived his right to a preliminary hearing in 15 days.

A nine-count criminal complaint charges Schlacta with first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault with a minor under 14 years of age with use of a deadly weapon, and battery with use of a deadly weapon, among other offenses.

Metro Police allege Schlacta approached the girl Wednesday as she was locking up her bicycle outside C.W. Woodbury Middle School and used a knife to force her between school buildings.

That’s where he allegedly sexually assaulted her until the girl was able to fight back and escape, police said. The victim flagged down a passing motorist for help.

The girl was transported to University Medical Center for treatment of several cuts on her arms, police said.

Officers spotted Schlacta a few blocks away and, after a short foot pursuit, arrested him.

In setting bail at $1 million, Sciscento noted Schlacta’s extensive criminal history, including nine felonies.

Schlacta, who is from California, had not been arrested in Las Vegas until this incident.

Schlacta is scheduled to return to court Sept. 26 for his preliminary hearing.

Metro Police said the case involving Schlacta is the second such incident in recent months.

On July 27, police arrested Jaime Barnes-Esparza, 35, after he allegedly grabbed a girl downtown near Eastern and Harris avenues, Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said.

Police allege Barnes-Esparza deployed a stun gun to try to subdue the girl, but she continued struggling, prompting him to flee, Cassell said.

Officers located him nearby and arrested him on counts of second-degree kidnapping, unlawful use of a stun gun by a felon, contact with a minor by an illegal person, luring of a child by an illegal person and two counts of child abuse or neglect, Cassell said.

Authorities later learned Barnes-Esparza had seven outstanding warrants from North Carolina related to committing sexual acts with children, Cassell said.

Barnes-Esparza is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center, according to jail records.

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