Alleged Christmas Hill Park rapists’ plea continued

Benancio Quinones leaves the courtroom after a delayed plea

The attorneys defending two men accused of raping a 13-year-old
girl in Christmas Hill Park are waiting to receive more evidence
before their clients enter pleas.
The attorneys defending two men accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in Christmas Hill Park are waiting to receive more evidence before their clients enter pleas.

Cresencio Evarado Blas, 29, and Benancio Quinones, 49, face multiple sex and drug charges – including five counts of child rape and furnishing marijuana and a controlled substance to a minor. The are being represented by attorneys from the Office of the Public Defender and the Alternate Defenders Office. Quinones’ attorney, Irma Gallardo, would not say what type of evidence she and Blas’ attorney were awaiting.

The two men sat side by side in the first row of seats during a court hearing Tuesday. Wearing brown prison garb, they responded to Superior Court Judge Ray Cunningham with the help of a Spanish interpreter.

About 6 p.m. Nov. 18, the victim was walking near the red barn in Christmas Hill Park when she ran into Blas and Quinones, who were homeless at the time and living in an encampment on the ranch side of the park between the levee and Uvas Creek, according to court documents. The men “befriended” her and the girl followed them back to their encampment where she smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine and drank part of a can of beer with the two men, according to police reports. They then raped her simultaneously.

Although the men allowed the girl to leave, she returned to the park about two hours later and asked them to use their cell phone, according to police reports. The two men raped her again, according to police reports.

The victim eventually notified someone of the attack and was taken for treatment at a local hospital, according to police. Police went out to the scene of the crimes and found the two men – who had built an encampment on the levee – according to police. The girl confirmed the men as her assailants, and police arrested them.

Blas and Quinones are currently in custody at the Main Jail in San Jose. Their bail was set at $1.2 million at an arraignment Nov. 23. The crimes carry the potential for life in prison, police said.

The two defendants will appear in court for a plea hearing 1:30 Feb. 9 in Department 109 at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.

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