An Egg Harbor Township man now accused of attacking 10 women could face trial in January.
Hiten Patel, 37, is accused in a series of sexual assaults dating to at least April 5, 2011.
He was under surveillance when he was arrested Aug. 2, 2012, after a woman who had gotten into his car willingly ran to police, saying she had been choked and raped at gunpoint, police said.
She told police she got into the car because he had used his identification as a contractor for the William J. Hughes Technical Center, claiming to be a detective, police said.
Police charged Patel with attacks on two women at that time. Since then, Patel was linked to more victims. Last month, he was indicted in crimes against two more victims, bringing the total to 10.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury scheduled three days of motions in the case, including a defense move to separate trials for each victim.
Other motions will include attempts to suppress certain evidence and statements.
A trial is scheduled for Jan. 21.
“Mr. Patel has been looking forward to litigating motions and proceeding to trial in this matter for quite some time, so he was gratified the the court scheduled motions and trial,” defense attorney Joseph Levin said. “He intends on vigorously defending the matter and he adamantly maintains his innocence.”
It is not clear whether it will be Levin who defends Patel in all those cases, however. During the court appearance Friday, he told the judge that defense attorney James Leonard Jr. could be taking over part or all of the case.
Levin would not comment on why that may happen.
Patel is free on bail with an ankle monitor and travel restrictions.
His bail was lowered from $1 million full cash to $750,000 with a 10 percent option in October, after his wife spoke on her husband’s behalf.
“We will fight this battle together,” Bhavana Patel told the judge at the time. “I proclaim he’s innocent.”
She was with her husband in court Friday.
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