For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced the sentencing of a Reno man to life in prison for the kidnapping of one victim and the kidnapping and sexual assault of a second victim that occurred in Reno earlier this year. The case was investigated by the Reno Police Department Detective Division and, at the time, there was concern about a potential serial rapist. The arrest and prosecution of this defendant resulted in a dangerous, violent offender, with the potential to victimize more women, being removed from the community. Detectives with the Regional Sex Offender Unit, as well as investigators and criminalists with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division also assisted in the investigation and prosecution of this case.
David Calderon-Morales, 20, from Sun Valley, was sentenced to life in prison for one count of First Degree Kidnapping and one count of Sexual Assault in Washoe County District Court last Thursday by Judge Jerome Polaha.
Calderon-Morales had previously pled guilty to the charges in August of this year. Both charges were ordered to run consecutively by the court and ensure that Calderon-Morales must serve a minimum of 15 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
The case against Calderon-Morales began on April 3, 2016 when the Reno Police Department responded to a report of a kidnapping. The female victim reported to detectives that she had been working as a prostitute in downtown Reno when she was picked up by a young Hispanic male who she had agreed to have sex with. The man, later identified as Calderon-Morales drove past the victim’s residence to a secluded location, which scared her. When the vehicle came to a stop, the victim attempted to run away. However, Calderon-Morales was able to catch the victim and strangled her to unconsciousness before retuning her to his vehicle. When the victim woke, Calderon-Morales continued to drive around Reno to another secluded location. During the drive, the victim reported that Calderon-Morales pointed a gun at her and had her remove clothing to prove she was not an undercover police officer wearing a wire. After approximately three hours, Calderon-Morales stopped at a convenience store. Before leaving the vehicle he locked its doors and activated its alarm system. Claderon-Morales took the gun with him and ordered the victim to pretend she was asleep while he went inside to buy condoms. The victim was able to escape by running across the street to a local casino and called police. Calderon-Morales left the area before police arrived.
Three days later, a second female victim was found by a passerby who called 911 at her request to report she had been robbed and sexually assaulted. The second victim reported she had been walking downtown to a friend’s house when Calderon-Morales drove up alongside her and ordered her into his car at gunpoint. Calderon-Morales then drove the victim to a remote location in North Reno where he strangled and sexually assaulted her. During the assault, one of the victim’s earrings fell off and Calderon-Morales discarded three used condoms. Calderon-Morales then drove the victim a short distance away and ordered her out of the car and left. Detectives were able to locate the scene where the earring and condoms were found, providing forensic evidence that linked Calderon-Morales to the crime. The victims provided detectives with a detailed description of Calderon-Morales and his vehicle. Video surveillance from the gas station and casino was also obtained.
Calderon-Morales was stopped on April 11, 2016 while driving his vehicle and identified. While being detained, detectives discovered that Calderon-Morales was being supervised by the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation for a previous felony conviction of attempted theft. A subsequent search of his residence located an air soft pistol. Based on the evidence and interviews, Calderon-Morales was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Zach Young argued that the violent nature and seriousness of the crimes committed against complete strangers, as well as Calderon-Morales’ threat to the public, justified the maximum sentence. Both victims wrote letters to the court expressing how scared they were and how the crimes affected them.