San Diego Superior Court.
San Diego Superior Court. Photo by Chris Stone

Opening statements preceded the beginning of testimony Thursday in the trial of a man accused of raping three women in the San Diego area in the span of just over a month.

Seth Alan Roberts, 22, is accused in three separate attacks, two of them at knifepoint, in Bonita, Pacific Beach and Otay Mesa in late 2018. All of the alleged crimes occurred when Roberts was 18.

He faces eight felony counts, including charges of forcible rape.

Roberts, who is originally from Oklahoma, is accused first of raping his then-girlfriend at a Bonita campground after the pair traveled to California from their home state.

Deputy District Attorney Judy Taschner told jurors Thursday that after Roberts left the campsite, the victim took an Uber ride to Arizona, where she reported the alleged rape to police.

About a month later, prosecutors allege that Roberts approached the second victim in Pacific Beach.

Taschner said Roberts invited the woman over to his residence to hang out with him, his roommate and roommate’s girlfriend. She agreed, but the prosecutor said Roberts instead led her to an alleyway and raped her at knifepoint.

The third alleged rape occurred about a week later with a young woman Roberts met at a trolley station in Chula Vista.

After exchanging phone numbers, he met up with the woman a few days later at her South Bay home, where he’s accused of raping her at knifepoint in her bedroom, according to prosecutors.

Roberts’ defense attorney, Damian Lowe, did not discuss the specific details of the case in his brief opening statement, but told jurors “the evidence in this case will not support the charges” and urged the jury panel not to be swayed by what he expected to be emotional testimony.

Roberts was arrested in December of 2018 at a home where he was staying in Chula Vista.

– City News Service