RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — The pretrial hearing in the Mercedes Carrera criminal case concerning multiple child sexual abuse charges against her and her husband — which was supposed to happen yesterday morning at the Rancho Cucamonga courthouse in San Bernardino County, California — has been postponed, once again, until August 20.
The pretrial hearing, the crucial date that would determine the jury selection process and the date of the beginning of the actual trial, has already been postponed numerous times, most recently last month, when it was re-scheduled for yesterday.
Carrera and her husband Jason Whitney were arrested after a police raid of their Rancho Cucamonga home on February 1, 2019.
Carrera and Whitney have been in county jail without trial for almost 18 months, first without bail and later, after they had liquidated their assets and had no source of income due to their incarceration, with bail set at $2 million for each.
The new date of August 20 — like the previous postponement — appeared online in a document filed yesterday.
The document shows the hearing to set the new date took place yesterday, with Carrera being present in custody, and with a different District Attorney, Laura Fragoso, from the one who filed the charges in 2019, and Carrera’s longtime lawyer Joshua Castro, misnamed as “Joshua Carter.”
Previous postponements had been requested by Carrera’s public defender and Whitney’s pro bono attorney, who are coordinating their defense strategies. Public Defender Castro has not given press updates since the start of the pandemic.
Proceedings at the Rancho Cucamonga courthouse, which XBIZ was covering closely, have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carrera is being held at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, which has been, according to multiple reports, ravaged by COVID-19 cases. Inmates cannot be visited or receive phone calls. The only way to contact inmates is via paper letter, or by waiting for them to make a phone call.
By June 13, according to the local newspaper, a total of 100 County jail inmates had tested positive for COVID-19.
An unusual coincidence in Carrera’s situation, which she brought to the attention of XBIZ several times, is that one of the doctors in charge of the health care and certification of the prisoners happens to be one of her estranged ex-husbands (not the father of her daughter).
For more of XBIZ’s coverage of the Mercedes Carrera case, click here.