UCI student pleads not guilty to assault charges

Deepa Bharath

NEWPORT BEACH -- A 20-year-old UC Irvine student on Friday pleaded not

guilty to charges of beating, sexually assaulting and carving swastikas

on the face of a teenage girl he met in an Internet chat room.

Prosecutors, who called the alleged act "brutal," have charged Brian

Dance with one count of oral copulation, three counts of penetration by a

foreign object and one count of torture. He also faces a charge of

second-degree robbery and threatening to kill his alleged victim.

Dance also faces additional enhancements that include torture, tying

up a victim, great bodily injury and using a knife. Prosecutors said they

did not have enough evidence to charge him with rape, which, according to

the victim, happened on the day of the alleged attack.

If convicted on all charges, Dance faces 94 years to life in prison.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Jana Hoffmann who is prosecuting the case declined

to comment. Defense attorney Marlin Stapleton Jr. could not be reached

Friday.

Investigators say Dance, a sophomore from Newport Beach, used the

Internet to lure the 15-year-old. They said he invited her to the Block

at Orange on Dec. 20.

Police said Dance then took her to a secluded parking lot at UC

Irvine, where he sexually assaulted her and tortured her for about two

hours.

Dance allegedly covered the victim's eyes with duct tape, beat her

with his fists, belt and buckle, carved swastikas on her face with a

knife and sexually assaulted her.

He was arrested with the help of the victim and her friend who agreed

to act as a decoy and led Dance to the Block two days later, on Dec. 22,

after finding him in the same chat room.

Dance is being held in Orange County Jail without bail. A pretrial

hearing is set for Feb. 15, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for

March 1.

* Deepa Bharath covers public safety and courts. She may be reached at

(949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at o7 deepa.bharath@latimes.comf7 .

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