RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — The criminal trial of Mercedes Carrera and her husband on multiple child sexual abuse charges was postponed again Friday, this time until next year, with a pretrial hearing now set close to the fifth anniversary of their arrest.
According to court documents, the hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 16, 2024, with March 18 as the earliest possible date for a trial.
Carrera and her husband, Jason Whitney, were arrested after a police raid of their Rancho Cucamonga home on Feb. 1, 2019. By the new pretrial date, they will have been in the county jail awaiting trial for just short of five years, held initially 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 first pretrial hearing for the case took place in July 2022, with an Oct. 3, 2022 date agreed upon for the beginning of the jury trial. Since then, however, the trial date has been repeatedly vacated and postponed for over a year.
In the course of four recent hearings, Judge Katrina West reset the pretrial date to Sept. 29, then to Oct. 3, Oct. 13, Nov. 6 and lastly to Nov. 17.
New Counsel Appointed
Last week, XBIZ contacted Geoff Newman, the conflict board attorney who had been representing Carrera since the middle of the pandemic. Newman responded that he was no longer her lawyer, and directed inquiries to her new attorney, Robert Little, who has been mentioned in previous documents as also being involved with the case.
Before this development, phone conversations circulated online by one of Carrera’s friends, reportedly with her permission, indicated that Carrera was critical of Newman’s approach.
Little told XBIZ that, like Newman before him, he is acting as a conflict board attorney, a private-practice lawyer appointed by the state in place of a public defender. Littled did not comment on any other aspects of the case.
Podcast, Website Launched in Support of Carrera
Carrera’s friend, only identifying himself as Louie Bee, contacted XBIZ to inform the industry community about a podcast, titled “Behind the Walls With Mercedes Carrera.”
The podcast features phone interviews with Carrera from the county jail, where she discusses her case, world events and the situation of inmates in the San Bernardino County correctional system.
Her supporters also launched a “Free Mercedes Carrera” website which includes documents presented to demonstrate alleged police misconduct during her arrest.
The website also includes a section titled “Faith,” about Carrera’s jailhouse embrace of Christianity. A handwritten letter purporting to be from her states, “I truly repent of my time in the adult industry and any negative input it has had on the world, and strive to find a new life in Christ, our Lord and Savior, through whom we may be redeemed.”
For more of XBIZ’s coverage of the Mercedes Carrera case, click here.