Scottsdale sexual assault suspect enters not guilty plea

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The Valley teen accused of sexually assaulting two women in Scottsdale last month has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to Maricopa County prosecutors, a judge entered the plea on behalf of 16-year-old Danny Jackson on Wednesday.

Jackson has been indicted on 12 counts in the case. His charges include five counts of sexual assault, two counts of attempted assault, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of burglary, and one count of attempted voyeurism.

Jackson is accused of sexually assaulting two women after breaking into their apartments in the area of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard. The incidents in question took place on Oct. 18 and Oct. 24.

Police first arrested 22-year-old Ryan Festa after he saw coverage of the investigation on TV and decided to turn himself in.

DNA evidence taken from the victims eventually cleared Festa in the case.

A tip from the public led police to conduct surveillance on Jackson, and on Nov. 1 he was arrested.

The police lab has reportedly been able to connect Jackson to the attacks through forensic evidence.

Jackson is being charged as an adult in the case, and is being held without bond.

He is due back in court on January 7 for an initial pretrial hearing.