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Suspect in teen’s kidnapping, sexual assault held on $1 million bail

A Las Vegas judge on Friday set bail at $1 million for a California ex-convict charged with sexually assaulting at knife point a 13-year-old girl on her way to school earlier this week.

Richard Schlacta, 48, faces eight counts, including sexual assault, kidnapping, and battery with a deadly weapon.

Schlacta appeared in court Friday before Justice of the Peace Joe Sciscento who asked if he understood the charges against him. Schlacta said he did, as he stood dressed in navy blue jail scrubs with his legs and arms shackled.

Sciscento noted that Schlacta was a nine-time felon before ordering the hefty bail amount. He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

The girl was locking up her bike early Wednesday morning on the north side of Woodbury Middle School, on Harmon Avenue near U.S. Highway 95, where she was waiting for a bus to take her to Knudson Middle School, a creative arts, language and technology magnet program school about four miles away, Las Vegas police said.

At about 5:45 a.m., Schlacta approached the teen and forcibly dragged her into a nearby building south of the school where he assaulted her multiple times, police said.

The girl fought off her attacker and escaped. She ran to Harmon Avenue, where she flagged down a passing motorist who called police at 5:53 a.m.

Schlacta attempted to flee but was soon caught.

Schlacta has a lengthy criminal history in California, including convictions on burglary, vehicle theft and drug charges in 1993, prison spokesman Bill Sessa said.

He was released in 1995. But after being convicted in 2003 on similar charges, he was imprisoned until 2012 based on the state’s “second strike” law, which doubled his sentence.

Schlacta was also imprisoned from February to June last year on a drug charge, which didn’t qualify as a “third strike” under California’s law, Sessa said.

In all, he’s been found guilty of 19 different charges in nine cases.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Review-Journal writer Mike Blasky contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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