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Case of fake ‘Twilight’ series actor set for November trial

Calif. man pleads not guilty to 8 charges

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 11:02 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 11:14 a.m. CDT
(Abigail Pelzer/Newton Daily News)
David LaVera appears in court at the Jasper County Courthouse Monday morning for an arraignment. LaVera pleaded not guilty to additional charges filed earlier this month. A trial date is set for Nov. 5.
(Abigail Pelzer/Newton Daily News)
David A. LaVera, right, is shown with his court-appointed attorney Richard Phelps II in a Jasper County courtroom Monday morning. LaVera pleaded not guilty to six charges filed earlier this month stemming from allegations he used a fake celebrity status to entice teenage girls. A judge set trial for Nov. 5.

A California man accused of luring two teenagers away from their homes using Facebook messages and a guise that he was an actor from the “Twilight” movie series will go to trial in November.

David A. LaVera, 33, appeared in court Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to six charges filed earlier this month. He was initially charged June 10 with enticing a minor and carrying weapons after he used his alleged celebrity status to entice the minor to meet him at a park in Baxter.

While at the park, LaVera is accused of sexually abusing the 14 year old and then driving her around Baxter until concerned family and friends, who had reported a kidnapping, were able to stop the vehicle and get the girl out of the car. When stopped by police, LaVera was found with a sword longer than 8 inches hidden in the driver’s side door jam, which was within the defendant’s reach. LaVera also had four double-edged daggers in the vehicle’s center console within his reach.

In August, the Newton Police Department and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office filed six addition charges, including the third-degree sexual abuse charge stemming from the June 10 incident.

According to court documents, LaVera targeted another teenage girl after meeting her at a local school and Maytag Park. Facebook messages showed LaVera requested to meet the teen, told her how to sneak out of her home and dictated the type of clothing she should wear to meet him, according to the report. He is charged with attempting to entice a minor for this alleged offense.

LaVera is also accused of using his smartphone to video a 12-year-old victim taking a shower and a 13-year-old victim using the bathroom at a Newton home. According to court documents, LaVera later uploaded that video onto his laptop computer for viewing. For those alleged offenses he is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of invasion of privacy.

A Nov. 5 trial date is scheduled. LaVera remains in the Jasper County Jail on a $60,000 bond.

Contact Editor Abigail Pelzer at (641) 792-3121 ext. 6530 or