Man denies sneaking into vacation rental, assaulting sleeping woman

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VISTA, Calif. -- A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in an Oceanside  vacation rental on New Year's Eve pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Thursday.

Kwahmell Archer, 24, is accused of going into the rental along Pacific Coast Highway through an unlocked front door around 4 a.m. Police say he went into a hall closet, got undressed and went into a bedroom where a 49 year-old woman was sleeping. Archer is accused of grabbing the woman, who started screaming for help. That's when the attacker went back to the closet to get dressed.

Police say 20 people were staying in the rental. A group of them heard the screams and blocked the suspect in the closet until officers arrived.

Archer is accused of felony assault during a residential burglary and could get a life sentence if convicted. He's being held on $1 million bail and a preliminary hearing is set for January 17.

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