Leonardo Guerrero accepted a plea deal in November that would send him to prison for nearly 10 years on charges of assaulting his girlfriend and threatening to kill their 3-year-old child.
He now wants out of the agreement so he can take his chances at trial.
It will be more than a month, however, before it's determined whether the 24-year-old Guerrero has any legal grounds to back out of the deal.
On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Judith K. Dulcich set a hearing for April 23. That's expected to provide enough time for Guerrero's newly appointed attorney, Heather Monasky, to review all documents and testimony filed in the case and possibly file a motion to withdraw the plea.
Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman previously represented Guerrero and negotiated a plea agreement stipulating Guerrero would serve nine years and eight months in prison. Charges of rape and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm were dismissed under the agreement; Guerrero faced life behind bars if convicted of those crimes.
If it's determined Guerrero has no grounds to withdraw from the deal, he'll be taken to prison to begin serving his sentence. But if the plea is withdrawn, the rape and other dismissed charges will be reinstated and he'll stand trial.
Prosecutor Andi Bridges has said in court Guerrero returned home early June 2 and entered his girlfriend's bedroom, where she lay with their four children sleeping around her. He'd been out drinking with a friend who told him his girlfriend was seeing another man.
Holding a knife to the girlfriend's side, he confronted her about the alleged relationship, Bridges said. When she denied she was seeing anyone, he demanded sex. She refused him, and he threatened to stab her father, who was sleeping in another room.
Fearing for the safety of her father and children, the woman didn't fight back as Guerrero raped her, the prosecutor said.
Afterward, she used a ruse to get Guerrero out of the house, according to Bridges. He took their 3-year-old with him.
The girlfriend woke her other children and her father and they rushed to her sister's apartment. She called her mother, who alerted authorities.
Guerrero, after authorities were alerted, threatened to kill himself and the 3-year-old, Bridges said. He was taken into custody and the child was unharmed.