Pacific Beach rape suspect pleads not guilty

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 19:23:32-05

A Colorado ex-con accused of raping a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint after forcing her into his truck in Pacific Beach early New Year's Day pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges.

Jacob Paul Skorniak, 49, was ordered held on $1 million bail.

Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio told Judge Frederick Maguire that the victim -- who is from out of the country -- was attacked as she exited a taxi cab and tried to make her way home.

Skorniak, a total stranger to the victim, used a knife to cut off some of her clothing before raping her, the prosecutor alleged.

During the struggle, the victim's cell phone dialed a family member, who was able to hear some of the attack, Di Tillio told the judge.

The prosecutor alleged that Skorniak released the victim a couple of blocks from the place she was staying after seeing police surrounding the residence. The defendant was the subject of a statewide search until he was arrested Jan. 21 in Santa Barbara.

Di Tillio said Skorniak has a significant criminal history dating back to the 1980s, including convictions for burglary, robbery and escape. Skorniak was also on federal parole at the time of the alleged rape, the prosecutor said.

The defendant faces 65 years to life in prison if convicted of forcible rape and kidnapping for rape, according to the prosecutor. A readiness conference was set for Feb. 4 and a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 8.