Suspect in Model's Death Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Assaults
February 10, 2022
By Jack Simon, Observer Staff Writer
A man who was arrested in connection with the deaths of a model and her friend last year pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he sexually assaulted four women in alleged attacks dating back as far as 2010.
Deputy District Attorney Catherine Mariano told Superior Court Judge Victoria B. Wilson the charges involve allegations that David Brian Pearce, now 39, drugged and subsequently raped the alleged victims — who are named in the charges as Jane Doe 1 through 4.
Mariano added that Pearce is "still being investigated" for the Nov. 13 death of model Christy Giles in Culver City and the subsequent death Nov. 27 of Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola.
The judge declined defense attorney Jacob Glucksman's request to lower bail for Pearce from $3.4 million to $100,000, saying that she has to assume the truth of the charges and that she believes he is a "threat to public safety."
Pearce's lawyer told the judge that one of the alleged victims "was silent for 11 years" and that the District Attorney's Office had initially declined to file charges involving the alleged crimes against two other women. He contended that a bag of cash found along with a passport in his client's car was from a recent trip to Las Vegas, and said there's been "no effort to flee or anything of that nature."
Pearce was charged Dec. 17 with two counts each of forcible rape and one count each of rape of an unconscious or asleep person and sexual penetration by a foreign object stemming from alleged attacks in August 2010, February 2019, February 2020 and October 2020.
Prosecutors asked for further investigation into the deaths of Giles and Cabrales-Arzola.
Giles, a 24-year-old model and aspiring actress, and her friend were last seen at an apartment in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood before their bodies were dumped outside Southern California Hospital in Culver City and Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Hospital.
Giles was already dead when she was found outside the hospital on Nov. 13. Cabrales-Arzola, an architect, was in critical condition and her family took her off life support a day before her 27th birthday.
"It is believed that both women were given drugs and overdosed at a residence in the 8600 block of Olympic Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles," police said in a statement last month.
Pearce — who was booked on suspicion of manslaughter — has remained behind bars since his arrest Dec. 15 by the Los Angeles Police Department's West Bureau, jail records show.
Giles and Cabrales-Arzola exchanged text messages hours before they were found, appearing to have called an Uber to leave the apartment.
The women's family members have claimed they were possibly drugged against their will at some point before they were found.