Trial ordered for man accused of raping woman near Balboa Park

Posted at 4:41 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 20:37:13-04

SAN DIEGO - A man accused of repeatedly raping a woman during a 2 1/2-hour ordeal near Balboa Park after trying to kidnap another woman the same night was ordered Thursday to stand trial on 10 felony counts.

Ismael Hernandez Jr., 27, of Chula Vista, faces life in prison if convicted of the charges, including forcible rape and attempted kidnapping for rape.

Deputy District Attorney Judy Taschner alleged Hernandez was a "predator looking for someone to rape that night."

One of the alleged victims testified that Hernandez came up from behind her as she emerged from a restaurant near Balboa Park with some take-out food about 9:30 p.m. last May 5.

"I was shocked," the woman said. "He was really close to my face. He said, 'Don't say anything. Don't say anything. Don't say anything.'"

"Jane Doe" said she noticed the defendant had a knife in his hand, so she threw her food at his face and ran back into the restaurant, and he took off in another direction.

She said she and her boyfriend drove around and looked for her attacker, but were unable to find him. She said she called police the next day when she watched a news report about a rapist near Balboa Park.

The other alleged victim, Rebecca, testified that she walking back to her car in the same vicinity near the south end of the park about 9:45 p.m. when Hernandez came around a corner, got in her face and said, "Don't scream."

The woman testified that Hernandez had a knife and told her to be quiet or he would hurt her. She said Hernandez walked her to a nearby area and sexually assaulted her, then moved her to a second location, where he forced sex acts with her again.

After the 2 1/2-hour assault, she said she started to put her clothes back on and Hernandez took off. She said she flagged down a pizza delivery driver and called police.

Rebecca told authorities that she thought her attacker was high on methamphetamine.

She helped police come up with a composite drawing of the suspect, who was arrested after a Crime Stoppers tip.

Judge Charles Rogers ruled that enough evidence was presented at the defendant's preliminary hearing for him to proceed to trial on charges of forcible rape and oral copulation, sexual battery, sexual penetration by force and attempted kidnapping for rape.

A Superior Court arraignment was set for Oct. 27.