CORRECTION 1/5 Spelling of Sheryl Webb's name corrected.

BARSTOW A Barstow married couple will stand trial for the alleged December rape of their 31-year-old friend.

On Monday morning at the Barstow courthouse Judge John Gibson found sufficient evidence for Sheryl Webb, 49, and Marshall Webb, 59, to face a trial for the alleged rape of the woman after hearing testimony from Barstow Police Detective Daniel Arthur the only witness to testify at the preliminary hearing.

Arthur said he was dispatched to Barstow Community Hospital in reference to a rape in the early morning hours of Dec. 15, 2010 and found the alleged victim with injuries to her face and chest.

The woman told Arthur she was walking through a drainage ditch behind Barstow Mall on Main Street when she encountered the Webbs, who the alleged victim said she knew since she was 17 years old. The woman said she was led to a cardboard box upon which Sheryl tried to kiss her and later smothered her with her genital region. After that the woman said Marshall forcibly raped her, and Sheryl forcibly performed oral sex immediately afterwards, according to Arthur's testimony.

The Webb's court-appointed defense attorneys both asked Arthur if police were able to find the cardboard box the alleged victim said she was assaulted on, or any other evidence from the ditch. Arthur said police did not find any evidence from the ditch.

The Webbs both currently face charges of forcible rape with an accomplice, although Deputy District Attorney Brieann Durose said additional charges of forced oral copulation could be added based on evidence presented at Monday's hearing.

Police initially told the Desert Dispatch the victim was allegedly assaulted during a planned visit to the Webbs' home at Desert Villa Mobile Home Park at 1980 East Main Street. Arthur said there was a miscommunication between members of the Police Department, and the alleged victim said she was assaulted in the ditch near the Webbs' trailer during a chance encounter.

Marshall asked to be released on his own recognisance, but was denied. The Webbs are both currently lodged at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bail.

If found guilty the Webbs could be sentenced to five to nine years in prison. Their next court date is set for Jan. 12.


Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126 or adome@desertdispatch.com