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San Benito
February 20, 2024

Sexual assault suspect prepares to take plea deal

Rape and attempted murder suspect Cory D. Daugherty has indicated he will accept a plea agreement at a court hearing this week.
Court records indicated Daugherty will enter a new plea at his next hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday at the San Benito County Courthouse, and his attorney confirmed it’s part of a plea agreement in which the suspect will accept no-contest pleas on felony charges.
Attorney Arthur Cantu confirmed Daugherty, 31, will accept at least a no-contest plea for attempted rape and a prior strike.
“We’re just trying to work out some of the details, exactly what his exposure is and what he’s pleading to,” Cantu told San Benito Live.
Cantu said the prison time will amount to a “big number” but he didn’t have an exact figure accessible when interviewed.
“He’s going to go to prison,” the attorney said.
Rape convictions can result in sentences of up to eight years in prison, which means attempted rape could get Daugherty up to four years on that charge alone.
Daugherty was previously charged by prosecutors on suspicion of attempted murder, rape, assault with great injury and false imprisonment in connection with a late 2017 assault in downtown Hollister.
The case goes back about a year since the allegations against Daugherty surfaced. Daugherty in September waived his right to a preliminary hearing where a judge would have decided if there’s enough evidence for a trial.
In late 2017, a victim checked into Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital and reported being sexually assaulted in downtown Hollister. Detectives isolated pertinent footage from the event from the downtown surveillance system. The pictures were released to the public on Jan. 11 with a request for assistance in identifying the suspect. Police obtained an arrest warrant and took him into custody Jan. 18.
Daugherty, who had a warrant issued for his arrest, was located and arrested in Santa Clara County. Daugherty was transferred to the San Benito County Jail, and arraigned in court on March 6.
Daugherty on Oct. 5 waived his right to a preliminary hearing, where a judge would have decided if there’s enough evidence for a jury trial. Daugherty’s bail is set at $500,000.