A Fallbrook man accused of sexually assaulting two women during a series of “hot prowl” burglaries — during which the criminal enters a home while the occupant is inside — pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges, including assault with intent to commit rape.
Michael Anthony Espinoza, 22, was ordered held on $1.4 million bail.
Sheriff’s deputies said a woman called 911 to report that a man came inside her Alturas Road apartment near Ammunition Road about 2:35 a.m. Wednesday.
While deputies searched for the intruder, a woman started screaming in a nearby apartment. She later told deputies that a man tried to sexually assault her while she was in bed with her husband, authorities said.
A deputy spotted a man matching the description of the intruder running from the apartment complex and detained him, sheriff’s officials said.
Another deputy investigating a “hot prowl” burglary a few blocks away interviewed a 62-year-old woman who said a man sexually assaulted her in her bed.
After Espinoza was arrested, deputies found property that linked him to another break-in, authorities said.
Officials said that in all the burglaries, the apartment doors were unlocked.
Espinoza — who faces two life terms in prison if convicted — will be back in court Dec. 14 for a readiness conference and Dec. 16 for a preliminary hearing.
— City News Service