A prosecutor Monday urged a jury to convict a man of beating, choking and raping two women in different parts of San Diego on consecutive days in 2016, but a defense attorney said police infused suspicions from the second case into the initial attack and mishandled evidence.
Jeremiah Ira Williams, 26, is charged with 13 counts, including forcible rape, false imprisonment, sodomy and making a criminal threat.
Williams was removed from the courtroom earlier in the trial for being disruptive and was not present as attorneys presented their final summations.
Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador told jurors in her closing argument that Williams followed Jane Doe #1 from a parking structure to her University City apartment about 10 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2016.
The woman was afraid when Williams asked her “Where’s your husband?” as she approached her front door, the prosecutor told the jury. With her keys in the door, she was knocked down, robbed at gunpoint and choked to a point where she thought she was going to die, the prosecutor said.
Once inside the apartment, Williams beat and bloodied the victim, then raped her and forced her to take a shower before leaving, Amador alleged.
The next day, Williams beat and raped a woman working as a prostitute after meeting up with her at a Grantville motel, the prosecutor alleged.
The prosecutor told the jury that Williams got on the bed and asked Jane Doe #2, “Do you want to know what it feels like to die?” He then alleged choked the victim until “she saw stars,” then raped and sodomized her, according to Amador, who said the woman was so terrified that she broke a window and jumped through it to get away.
She didn’t initially go to the hospital or tell police what happened to her because she has a criminal record, the prosecutor said.
Williams’ attorney, Deputy Public Defender Thomas Bahr, told the jury that a police detective had a feeling the two sexual assaults might be connected and jumped to conclusions in an attempt to solve the initial attack.
Bahr alleged that Jane Doe #2 lied throughout the investigation and said her story was riddled with inconsistencies. She denied to a doctor that she had been sexually assaulted, then told a detective she was raped and sodomized, according to the defense attorney.
Bahr said Jane Doe #2 and two male compatriots may have been planning to rob a “john” that night at the motel.
The defense attorney also alleged that Jane Doe #2 asked a detective, “Can I sue him (Williams) for beating my (expletive).”
Bahr said Jane Doe #1 was a “true victim,” yet she couldn’t assist police in making a composite sketch of her attacker.
Jury deliberations got underway Monday afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Kenneth So.
— City News Service