Man who threatened women with ax pleads guilty to rape

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SAN DIEGO — A man who sexually assaulted two female escorts and threatened to kill one of them with an ax pleaded guilty Friday to forcible rape and assault with intent to commit oral copulation, both during a burglary.

Brendan Mathis, 32, will be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison at a hearing Jan. 12.

Mathis was arrested Jan. 29 after attacking a woman in her Mission Valley apartment. He was also charged in a similar attack Jan. 10 in which he Tased a woman, threatened to kill her and raped her.

Both women were paid escorts, according to San Diego police.

“This case is horrific, it is actually unimaginable, but it happened, and it’s frightening,” Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett said after Mathis’ arraignment.

The prosecutor said Mathis made admissions after his arrest, telling police that “something came over him” and that it was “dark.” Mathis told police that he targeted the women for their vulnerability, Barrett said.

In the Jan. 10 attack, Mathis Tased the victim immediately after she let him into her Mission Valley hotel room and drove her to the ground, Barrett said.

Mathis bound the victim’s hands and feet, blindfolded her, and told her that he had an ax and he was going to kill her, telling her that she should just go along and cooperate and not scream, the prosecutor said.

The defendant allowed the victim to have a cigarette but flicked an ember into a private area of her body, Barrett said.

The prosecutor said Mathis forced the victim to commit a sex act on him, then raped her.

Barrett said the assault went on for four to five hours. When Mathis took off the blindfold, the victim saw an ax, garden shears and a knife on a bed, the prosecutor said.

Mathis cut zip ties in front of the woman, then told her to get in the bathtub and take a shower and stay there until an alarm went out, Barrett said. Mathis then poked his head around a corner and “spooked” the victim one more time before leaving, according to the prosecutor.

The other attack occurred Jan. 29, when Mathis went to a woman’s apartment in Mission Valley and began Tasing her upon entering, Barrett said. The woman fought back, but Mathis got her into a back bedroom and bound her hands behind her back, the prosecutor said.

Mathis went toward his bag of tools and the woman attempted to escape through a second-story window, but the defendant grabbed her by the cloth handcuffs, Barrett said.

The cloth cuffs gave way, and the victim fell onto a large air conditioning unit and was able to get away. Mathis walked out onto the street and was apprehended, according to the prosecutor.

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