A worker at an Old Town hotel testified Wednesday that a man pulled a gun on her in a women’s restroom earlier this year and demanded sex, but she told him no and escaped when he backed into a stall and closed the door.
The woman took the witness stand as a preliminary hearing got underway for 32-year-old Jason Lee Jones, who is also charged with raping a woman in 2011.
The witness said she went into the women’s restroom in the lobby area of the Hilton Garden Inn about 12:30 p.m. on May 1 and saw a man come out of one of the stalls.
“I said, You’re in the women’s restroom,” the woman testified. “He just said, ‘Oh.”‘
The witness said the man was seemingly exiting the restroom when he turned around, displaying a black gun. The woman said the man started to guide her toward a stall and demanded that she perform a sex act on him.
“I said no,” she testified. “I said just walk away. I won’t say anything.”
The witness said the intruder put the gun to her head and she experienced the thought “that I might die today.”
Once out of the restroom, the woman said she ran to the front desk and told co-workers to call 911.
Another hotel worker, Hannah Brown, testified that a man she identified as Jones asked to use the restroom and she later saw him scrolling through pornography on a hotel computer near the restrooms.
Another woman testified that she was coming back from lunch to her Caltrans office across the street from the hotel when she heard police were looking for someone.
She said she volunteered to look in a women’s restroom in her building and discovered the defendant hiding in a shower stall. The woman she immediately ran out of the restroom screaming, “He’s there! He’s there!”
Jones was arrested about six hours after the woman was confronted in the restroom at the hotel on Taylor Street.
The preliminary hearing will continue on Thursday, then resume next month with testimony from the alleged rape victim from 2011.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Laura Parsky will decide whether enough evidence was presented to order the defendant to proceed to trial on charges of forcible rape, assault with intent to commit oral copulation, false imprisonment, burglary with intent to commit oral copulation and one count of shoplifting from a separate incident at a Target store.
He faces life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Nicole Roth.
— City News Service