On Tuesday, March 15, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office arrested Nasir David Powell, 18, on felony charges involving sex offenses. The arrest was made in Idyllwild on Temecula Drive, which is entirely within the campus of Idyllwild Arts Academy. Indications are that Powell was a student at IAA at the time of the arrest.
On March 18, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony complaint against Powell alleging five felony counts: two involving oral copulation with a female minor, two involving sexual penetration of a female minor with a foreign object, and one count of sexual intercourse with a female minor more than three years younger than Powell.
Riverside County Superior Court’s criminal case report indicates that Powell was charged in Case No. SWF1600468 and pleaded not guilty to all five counts. He is represented by private attorney Miles Clark of Riverside. Powell currently is being held in custody on $500,000 bail.
Investigator Steven Grassel’s declaration in support of increased bail indicates that a female victim, age 14, complained of unwanted sex with Powell in February, and another female victim, age 17, complained of forcible rape by Powell in January, when she was still 16.
Grassel’s declaration further relates that Powell admitted having had sexual relations with the 14-year-old and the 17-year-old, but stated that it was all consensual. The declaration further relates that Powell admitted engaging in sexual acts with five other students since November of last year, four of whom ranged in age from 14 to 17. Additional investigation is continuing.
Grassel asked a judge to increase Powell’s bail from $5,000 to $500,000 because he “strongly believe[d]” that Powell posed a threat to the victims and would “possibly dispose of any evidence or effect the statements of witnesses we have not interviewed.” Grassel also declared there was a strong possibility that Powell would flee before his court date since his family resides out of state and his mother, a foreign service officer, is stationed out of the country.
Based on Grassel’s declaration, the judge increased Powell’s bail to $500,000, as requested.
A felony settlement conference in Powell’s case currently is set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, in Department S204, Murrieta.
Jack Clark can be reached at [email protected]