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Local

Trial set in fake 'Twilight' actor case

LaVera pleads not guilty to additional charges

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.
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.

A California man accused of sexually abusing a minor while pretending to be a Hollywood actor pleaded not guilty to additional charges Monday morning.

David A. LaVera, 33, appeared in court for an arraignment at which a Nov. 5 trial date was set.

LaVera was arrested in June after police say he claimed to be an actor from the “Twilight” movie series and used his alleged celebrity status to entice a 14-year-old girl to a park in Baxter after having sexually explicit conversations with the teen on Facebook.

While at the park, LaVera is accused of touching the teen inappropriately and then luring her into his vehicle. He allegedly drove 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.

Earlier this month additional charges were filed including — third-degree sexual abuse, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of invasion of privacy and attempting to entice a minor under 16.

According to court documents, LaVera used his smartphone to video a 12-year-old victim taking a shower and using the bathroom. Another charge of sexual exploitation of a minor names a 14-year-old victim who was filmed using the bathroom.

Read more about this case in Tuesday's Newton Daily News.

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