Opening statements are scheduled Monday in the trial of a parolee accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a pedestrian trail in Balboa Park.

Ameen Bryant, 21, who is charged with assault with intent to commit rape, faces 12 years in prison if convicted.

Balboa Park attack suspect Ameen Bryant. Photo courtesy of Fox 5 San Diego

The victim testified during a preliminary hearing in April that she was 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.

The woman said the man, who she later identified as Bryant, looked at her, but she continued to walk and listen to music. She said the man started walking behind her, going the same direction, and she kept looking over her shoulder to keep an eye on him.

The woman 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 the man was right there.

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

The woman 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,” she testified. She said the man got up and ran after about a minute, probably because he saw people in the area.

In a police lineup two weeks later, the woman 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 the victim’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.

— City News Service

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