LANCASTER – A paroled killer appeared in court Thursday on charges that he kidnapped a woman last month and took her to a vacant home in Quartz Hill, where he sexually assaulted and attempted to murder her.
Leonard Earl Bales, 46, of Palmdale, faces one count each of forcible oral copulation; kidnapping to commit forcible oral copulation; attempted murder; criminal threats; assault with a deadly weapon, belt; false imprisonment by violence and assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy or oral copulation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami said the case includes allegations of kidnap, tying, binding, great bodily injury and two or more serious or violent felony convictions.
Bales appeared in court but did not enter a plea Thursday. His arraignment was instead postponed to Nov. 12.
The latest case stems from a Sept. 26 incident. Bales allegedly took a 35-year-old woman to a vacant house in Quartz Hill where he choked, dragged and sexually assaulted her, the prosecutor said. The victim managed to escape the home without any clothes on and get a neighbor to shelter her and call police, the prosecutor added.
Bales was arrested that day by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and has remained in jail since then on just over $3.8 million bail.
Prosecutors allege Bales has a 1998 conviction for killing a woman in Lancaster. In that case, a 27-year-old Bales was initially charged with murder in the 1996 strangulation death of a 37-year-old woman, according to prior media reports. Bales eventually took a plea deal in 1998 for voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 years in state prison and paroled in 2013.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Bales has convictions from 1994 for assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and first-degree burglary.
If convicted of the latest charges, Bales could face up to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lancaster Station.