Man who sexually assaulted women during home burglaries sentenced

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VISTA, Calif. — A 23-year-old man who sexually assaulted two women during four “hot prowl” home burglaries in Fallbrook was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in state prison.

Michael Anthony Espinoza pleaded guilty last month to multiple felony charges, including assault with intent to commit rape.

A woman called 911 to report that a man entered her Alturas Road apartment near Ammunition Road about 2:35 a.m. last Dec. 2. While deputies searched for the intruder, a woman started screaming in a nearby apartment. She told deputies that a man tried to sexually assault her while she was in bed with her husband.

A deputy spotted a man matching the description of the intruder running from the apartment complex and detained him. A few blocks away, another deputy investigating a “hot prowl” burglary interviewed a 62-year-old woman who said a man had sexually assaulted her in her bed. The victim was very ill when the attack happened and later died, prosecutors said.

After Espinoza was arrested, deputies found property that linked him to another break-in. In all the burglaries, the apartment doors were unlocked, according to investigators.