Accused Rapist Waives Preliminary Hearing

An Ohio County grand jury will hear evidence against David Maya, who is accused of driving to Wheeling Island from Maryland and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl he met over the Internet.

Maya waived his right to a preliminary hearing during a brief court appearance Wednesday before Magistrate Harry Radcliffe.

The 24-year-old Elkridge, Md., resident was accompanied by attorney Samuel Stillwell of the Public Defender Corp. of the 1st Judicial Circuit and a Spanish language interpreter appointed by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Radcliffe continued Maya’s $500,000 bond, with no objection from Stillwell or Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak. Maya’s bond conditions include the surrender of his passport and a requirement he remain under home confinement in Ohio County if he posts bond.

Maya has been incarcerated since his arrest by authorities in Howard County, Md., more than a month ago.

Members of both Maya’s and the alleged victim’s families were present for Wednesday’s hearing. Following the proceedings, a shackled Maya exchanged tearful goodbyes with his family before Ohio County sheriff’s Cpl. Rod Vaught led him from the courtroom to be transported back to the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.

According to a police report, Maya first made contact with the alleged victim in an Internet chat room, which resulted in them exchanging contact information and communicating via text message. Both reportedly lied to each other about their ages, with Maya claiming he was younger than his actual age and the girl claiming she was older.

Police believe on June 9, Maya traveled to Belle Isle Park on Wheeling Island to meet the girl, who told investigators Maya sexually assaulted her in a wooded area near the park while playing hide-and-seek with her and her friends.

Maya was arrested June 15, and was arraigned before Radcliffe June 21 following his extradition from Maryland.

Maya is charged with four counts of second-degree sexual assault and could face a 40- to 100-year prison sentence if convicted on all charges.