A parolee accused of attacking a woman on a pedestrian trail in Balboa Park must stand trial on a charge of assault with intent to commit rape, a judge ruled Thursday.

Ameen Bryant, 21, faces 12 years in prison if convicted.

Existing Central Courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The victim, identified in court as Amanda, testified during a preliminary hearing that she walking near state Route 163, south of the Cabrillo Bridge, around lunchtime Jan. 14 when she noticed a man standing on the trail, facing the freeway.

Amanda said the man — who she later identified as Bryant — looked at her, but she continued to walk and listen to music.

The victim said Bryant started walking behind her, going the same direction, and she kept looking over her shoulder to keep an eye on him. Amanda testified that she noticed Bryant was walking faster and getting closer, and when she came to an incline, she started to run.

After about a mile, the woman said she saw a shadow and Bryant was right there.

“He lifted up my shirt and grabbed me around the waist,” Amanda told Deputy District Attorney Renee Palermo.

Amanda said the defendant got her to the ground and pinned her down, putting his hand over her mouth and throwing dirt on her to try to stop her from screaming.

“I told him to get off of me,” Amanda testified. She said Bryant got up and ran after about a minute, probably because he saw people in the area.

In a police lineup two weeks later, Amanda and a couple on the trail identified Bryant as the attacker.

San Diego police Detective Kevin McNamara testified that Bryant’s DNA was found on Amanda’s face.

Bryant — a documented gang member — was on parole for a 2012 robbery conviction at the time of the attack in Balboa Park, Palermo said.

Following the preliminary hearing, Judge Jay Bloom ruled that enough evidence was presented for Bryant to stand trial Aug. 13. A readiness conference was set for June 26.

–City News Service

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