SAN DIEGO -- In an emotional courtroom statement Wednesday, a woman recalled the terrifying moments she says a man held her at gunpoint and demanded sex at an Old Town hotel.
Jason Lee Jones, who is also charged with raping a woman in 2011, pleaded not guilty to the attempted assault back in May.
At a preliminary hearing that began Wednesday, a judge will now decide if there’s enough evidence against him to hold him over for trial.
Jones sat in court listening to the evidence against him. The judge has ordered his image and that of the victim be protected.
His accuser took the stand first, describing how she was able to get away unharmed: “I was telling myself, 'Stay calm, don’t run … But I was terrified.'”
The alleged attack happened at the Hilton Garden Inn on the 4200 block of Taylor Street in Old Town last May. The victim, who works at the hotel, was in the lobby bathroom when she says Jones confronted her with a gun and tried to force himself on her.
She says she managed to trick him and get away, slipping out of the bathroom and running to the lobby desk to tell her colleagues to call 911. One of her co-workers took the stand to describe those shocking moments:
“She very calmly walked up to the front desk. She said, 'Call 911 right now because someone pointed a gun at me in the bathroom.' She was really calm, we had to look at her for a moment -- and then she started crying.”
According to the Deputy District Attorney, Jones left the hotel and went to another nearby building, hiding in a bathroom before he was eventually discovered.
Jones is facing four felony counts, including attempted assault and false imprisonment. Witnesses are expected to testify all week.
Jones faces 25 years to life in prison if he’s found guilty.