Man charged in kidnap, rape of three women |

Man charged in kidnap, rape of three women

Edwin Robert Carlevato was arrested Nov. 4 1999, after being identified as a rape suspect on a convenience store surveillance videotape.

He’s been in El Dorado County Jail since his arrest and is awaiting a trial set to begin Monday. He is charged with the kidnap and sexual assault of three women; two South Shore residents in 1999 and one in 1998.

Carlevato pleaded not guilty to the charges in January and recently rejected a plea agreement with El Dorado County that would have sentenced him to a life term in prison. If convicted on all charges he could be sentenced to several life terms.

The original trial date in March was pushed back because his first court-appointed defense attorney had to abort the case after a witness-related conflict of interest. Donald Heape, an attorney based in Placerville, is his new lawyer.

In earlier court proceedings, Heape filed two motions, one to separate the case against his client into two trials, the other asked for a change of venue due to pretrial publicity. Heape said Monday he has withdrawn his motion to separate the charges against his client but that the change of venue motion is on hold until a jury is chosen.

“It may become an issue once a jury is seated,” he said. “If one can be found at all that’s not been negatively impacted by the media. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Jury selection will begin Monday and is expected to last at least a week because more than 900 people have been called to duty.

In many sexual assault cases DNA evidence plays a crucial role. But Heape said DNA evidence presented by prosecutors will not be at issue during the trial. “There will possibly be some expert witnesses testifying,” he said, “but they won’t be DNA experts.”

Carvelato and his wife of 25 years, a dispatcher with Jackson Rancheria Tribal Police, lived for the last nine years in Pioneer, a small community in Amador County off State Route 88. Carlevato was arrested while working as manager of a poker room at Jackson Rancheria Casino.

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