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Judge denies motion to sever sex assault charges against former Berkeley Law student

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DECEMBER 15, 2016

The lawyer of Sardar Sikandar Wali Zia Khan motioned at a hearing Thursday that his client, who was a UC Berkeley School of Law student at the time of his arrest, be tried separately for each of his charges related to his two alleged sexual assaults of campus students.

Presiding Judge Paul Delucchi denied the motion to sever the seven counts. The defendant’s attorney, Kellin Cooper, argued that the charges violated his client’s sixth amendment rights — which include the right for a defendant to have a counsel of their choice, according to Cooper.

“This is one of the more novel arguments I’ve heard in three and half years here,” Delucchi said in court.

The defendant’s motion failed to cite a single relevant case in support of his position, according to Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Tim Wellman in court documents. The assaults allegedly took place five days apart from each other in early September.

The second victim went to the police after seeing her attacker’s photo in a Berkeleyside article about the previous assault, according to court documents.

UCPD originally arrested Khan, 25, on Sept. 4 and he was subsequently charged with forcibly raping both of the victims. He was then held at Santa Rita Jail with his bail set at $200,000. After a $16,000 premium was paid on his behalf to a bond agencyVu Bail Bonds — Khan was released from jail Sept. 15.

After Khan was charged with the second rape his bail increased to $700,000. He is currently in custody.

“There is no case, this issue is a non-issue,” Cooper said in court.

Khan’s case will go to court again Dec. 19 at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse.

Contact Audrey McNamara at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @McNamaraAud.
LAST UPDATED

DECEMBER 15, 2016


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