Man accused of kidnapping denied bail

FRESNO, Calif.

A judge refused to set a bail for 23-year old Kalvin Cardenas during the suspect's first court appearance Monday afternoon.

The Fresno County jail initially set bail for Cardenas at just over $500,000.

But Judge Jon Nick Kapetan said he's not comfortable with Cardenas being out in society.

Cardenas barely said a word during his first court appearance on charges related to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl last week.

We weren't allowed to show his face as he uttered one-word responses about his right to enter a not guilty plea Monday.

"Do you give up that right, sir?" Judge Kapetan asked him.

"Yes," Cardenas muttered.

Sheriff's investigators say Cardenas picked up his victim as she waited for a school bus in Fresno.

He sexually assaulted her and eventually dumped her near Kerman.

"These charges, your honor, are separate sex crimes committed on one victim, but separate crimes," said prosecutor Michelle Eskew.

Cardenas wore the yellow jumpsuit of a problem inmate, although in his case, the problem is keeping him safe from other inmates.

Safety was also on the mind of the judge who dealt with the case for the first time.

Because Cardenas was arrested in May after girls at a Dinuba school said he was trying to lure them into his pickup truck, and because Cardenas refused to surrender to sheriff's deputies until after a SWAT standoff, Judge Kapetan said Cardenas would be a flight risk and a possible danger to society.

"I don't believe any amount of bail could ensure his attendance in court or, more importantly, the safety of society at large," the judge said. "Therefore, I'm setting no bail on this case."

Cardenas faces six felony charges and a possible life sentence.

He hired a Visalia attorney named Ryan Sullivan to defend him.

Sullivan didn't return my phone calls or e-mails, and he left court quickly without making any comment.

His client is due back in court in three weeks, and Sullivan told the judge he'll argue for a reduced bail.

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