LAS VEGAS (AP) – A judge set bail Monday at $460,000 cash for a 28-year-old man who investigators allege was a Las Vegas Strip pimp who threatened and beat a woman when she tried to quit working as his prostitute _ including putting a wet towel over her face and suffocating her in an experience she told police was like being “water boarded.”
Arman Izadi won’t post bail and intends to fight the 20 felony charges filed against him, his attorney said outside court. The charges include kidnapping, pandering, living from the earnings of a prostitute, battery, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, extortion and coercion.
“There is a wide difference between what has been charged and what is true,” Izadi’s attorney, Ben Nadig, said.
Izadi’s mother watched in court from a motorized wheelchair as Justice of the Peace Cynthia Cruz ordered that before posting bail, Izadi would have to prove the money came from legal and legitimate sources. Izadi told Las Vegas police before his arrest that he was a casino host.
Izadi also faces sentencing May 15 in Clark County District Court in another criminal case alleging he attacked a man he had hired to film a music video.
Izadi pleaded guilty in October to a reduced charge of attempted battery with substantial bodily harm in a plea deal that would have gotten him probation.
Prosecutor Marc Schifalacqua said he’ll seek to have that deal withdrawn. The state court judge who approved it already has ordered that if Izadi is freed in the pandering case, he will be held without bail pending sentencing.
Cruz also scheduled a May 20 preliminary hearing in the new case stemming from Izadi’s arrest last Wednesday, but Schifalacqua said prosecutors have served notice that they may take the case to a grand jury. That could move the case to state court and make the evidence hearing moot.
Izadi could face up to life in prison if he is convicted of kidnapping, and decades in prison on other charges.
He is accused of pandering and living off the earnings of three women, and of attacking one of them in a walk-in shower.
That woman told police that for more than an hour Izadi choked her with his hands, beat her, cut on the leg with a knife and held her beneath a spray of water that he changed from scalding hot to ice cold before placing the wet towel over her face.
The woman told police she felt as if she was drowning, but that Izadi slapped her face to rouse her before she lapsed into unconsciousness.
Izadi also allegedly led the woman to an apartment balcony and threatened to throw her over the rail.
The attack stopped when she agreed to have Izadi’s name tattooed on her neck, according to the police report. While at the tattoo shop, she was able to send a text message to her mother saying that he was trying to kill her, police said.
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