Man sentenced for attempted rape near UTC mall

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SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego man Friday apologized to a woman he tried to rape last year, calling the attack his “stupidest mistake,'' before a judge sentenced him to 11 years to life in prison and ordered him to register for life as a sex offender.

Adam Espinoza Moore, 23, was convicted following a trial earlier this year of assault, kidnapping, sexual battery and other counts stemming from the attack in the 4300 block of La Jolla Village Drive on Aug. 30, 2014.

A 21-year-old woman was leaving the Westfield UTC mall shortly before 8:30 p.m. when Moore grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth, choked her and dragged her up a grassy hill into a patch of shrubbery, said Deputy District Attorney Aidee Brunner.

The defendant straddled the victim and she offered him her wallet, but he continued with the sexual assault because he thought he had more time, the prosecutor said.

“He made it clear he wanted to rape her,'' Brunner told Judge Leo Valentine Jr.

The victim screamed, bringing two passers-by to the scene, and the defendant fled.

Moore was arrested a few weeks later.

“I thought I was going to die,'' the victim told the court. “I was so scared. I'm just so crippled by fear. It sucks feeling this way.''

The victim said that before the attack, she was a trusting person that saw the good in people. Now, she said she is afraid to go out after dark.

Moore said he was “desensitized'' to the ramifications of his actions because of an addiction to hard-core pornography.

Without turning around, he apologized to the victim.

“It was the stupidest mistake of my life,'' Moore said. “I was wrong.''

Before handing down his sentence, the judge told the defendant that he reflected on his intentions -- traveling from Mira Mesa to the UTC area -- and targeted the vulnerable victim.

“What were you going to do had you not been interrupted?'' the judge asked the defendant.

Valentine also ordered that Moore register as a sex offender for life.

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