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San Diego women face their accused rapist at preliminary hearing

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 22:17:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Several women appeared in San Diego County Court to recall the interactions they had with Juan Carlos Cordero, the man they claim raped them.

San Diego Police arrested 35-year-old Cordero in March for multiple felony sex crimes beginning in 2015. Police said he would approach intoxicated women at bars or online, take them back to his home, and rape them.

One by one, the women came into the courtroom Wednesday, to answer questions at the preliminary hearing. The accusers said admittedly, some of the details of what happened are foggy.

"I'm not sure," one woman replied.

"I honestly don't remember, but I was embarrassed that I didn't remember," said another.

"I felt like ... I was drugged," another woman said.

One woman said she met Cordero after posting on a singles advertisement on Craigslist. She was hoping for a pleasant interaction but said it turned horrific. She said she did everything Cordero told her to do, fearing for her life.

"He threatened me with spanks with the belt, a weapon," she said.

Another woman said she met Cordero on a dating site when she was 18. She admitted lying to her father about Cordero, saying he was a person she knew. But after drinking a few beers in San Diego County, she said Cordero drove her to his home in Newport Beach.

"I don't remember very much until I woke up to him yelling at me that I was being too loud, and that I was like every other girl and that I was going to wake up his neighbors," she recalled.

After that interaction, she demanded Cordero drive her back to San Diego. In fear that her parents would scold her, she said she did not tell them what had happened, until a few hours later. On the drive home, she remembered that Cordero punched her face repeatedly.

"I grabbed the steering wheel and yanked it on the freeway," she said. "He [Cordero] got off at the next exit, and I ran into the Denny's."

She then had her father pick her up at the restaurant in San Clemente. The following day, she said she went into a hospital to take a drug and rape kit.

Another accuser said last fall, she and Cordero went on what started as a nice first date. But she ended up unconscious and woke up in pain.

"I noticed welts on the back of my butt, I guess," she said.

Tearing up, she said she was too embarrassed to report the incident because the two continued to date. After they broke up, she said she read an article about Cordero and his alleged victims. That is when she decided to go to the police and tell her own story.

"He choked me until the point where I couldn't breathe," she said. "And I asked him to stop."

"And what did he say?" prosecutor Martin Doyle said.

"That he could end me right then and no one would know," she replied.

Cordero's attorneys said their client is innocent, and the interactions he had with the women were consensual.