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Toddler rape suspect shuffles into court in chains

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Accused pedophile Chester Arthur Stiles gets additional charges
  • NEW: "I think he's a little out of it," his attorney says
  • Suspect's ex-girlfriend: "I've had my share of nightmares"
  • Stiles, 37, arrested following a routine traffic stop
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(CNN) -- With his hands and feet shackled and his face obscured by his long hair, Chester Arthur Stiles made his initial court appearance in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday morning on charges stemming from the videotaped rape of a 2-year-old girl.


Chester Stiles appears Wednesday in a Las Vegas, Nevada, courtroom.

Stiles, 37, was taken into custody Monday night after a Henderson, Nevada, police officer pulled over the white Buick Century he was driving.

Prosecutors added a couple more charges before Wednesday's hearing, bringing the total to 23 felony counts, including a charge of lewdness with a minor, sexual assault and the use of a child in the production of pornography, according to a statement issued by the Clark County, Nevada, court.

One of the lewdness charges stems from a 2004 incident, while the others are related to the videotape, the court said.

Judge Deborah Lippis set November 19 as the date for the preliminary hearing.

After the hearing, Stiles' court-appointed attorney said his client was overwhelmed by the public opinion in the case.

"I think he's a little out of it," public defender Jeff Banks said.

Jerry T. Donohue, the attorney for the girl's mother, told CNN that the child on the videotape was younger than 3 when the abuse occurred. The girl, who is now 7, was found last month after a nationwide search.

The girl's mother said on "The Dr. Phil Show" Wednesday that she was "relieved" about Stiles' arrest, although it would have been "better if they found him dead."

The woman said she will testify against Stiles if the case goes to court.

She told Phil McGraw that her daughter remembers nothing about the videotaped assault and that she recently had a conversation with the girl about inappropriate touching.

She said her daughter told her that if someone touched her inappropriately, the girl would scream and tell her mother.

But, she told McGraw, "I don't trust anybody now."

Although she is in a relationship with a man her daughter calls "Dad," she said, "I don't feel comfortable leaving her with him, nor with anybody else. ... I just cry and blame it on myself."

Eight-and-a-half months pregnant, she said the incident has placed a lot of strain on her.

Asked if she would rather not have known about the assault, she said, "Yes, I could have lived without knowing it."

A former girlfriend of Stiles' said that, before the arrest, she lived in fear after going to police to identify the suspect after seeing enhanced photos from the videotape on the local news.

"I've had my share of nightmares," Elaine Thomas told CNN's Nancy Grace.

Thomas said she screamed when she recognized the photos on television and had no choice but to contact police about the man she had thought was a "weapons enthusiast" with only a minor criminal record. Video Watch Thomas say how she felt when she saw the photos »

"How could I not tell them who that man was? That little girl suffered unimaginable things, and I knew for a fact it was him," Thomas said.

Another former girlfriend of Stiles', Tina Allen, said this month she thinks she is the reason Stiles came in contact with the girl and is "mortified" by the allegations against him.

"He said he'd been in the Navy and, you know, I was looking for a strong guy to represent to my sons what I thought they needed to be," Allen said.


Allen said she took Stiles to a crowded apartment where her son and daughter lived.

Also living in the apartment were a family friend and her daughter, the alleged assault victim. Todd Allen, Tina Allen's son, said he recognized his old apartment from scenes in the video. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Ed Payne and Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.

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