CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A young man who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl after trying to kidnap her and another teen in National City was sentenced Monday to five years in state prison.
Mandel A. Watson, 19, pleaded guilty in April to attempted kidnapping with intent to commit rape. Watson was supposed to be sentenced in June, but Judge Theodore Weathers ordered a three-month evaluation to help determine whether the defendant should be granted probation or sent to prison for up to nine years.
According to National City police, Watson drove up to the 13- and 14-year-old girls at East Plaza Boulevard and South Harbison Avenue as they walked home from a nearby convenience store last Nov. 19. He propositioned the girls, but they ignored him and continued to walk.
Watson stopped his car and ran after the girls, and the older girl sent her younger cousin for help, Deputy District Attorney Harrison Kennedy said. The defendant struck the 14-year-old in the face and ground his pelvis against her buttocks until he was chased away by bystanders, according to Kennedy.
He said Watson lay down in the street — his intent in doing so has yet to be explained — and was struck by a car, but he got up and ran to a fast- food restaurant, where he was detained by bystanders who kept the doors of the business shut until police arrived.