Women testify in North Park sex assault case


David Angelo Drake

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SAN DIEGO -- A woman testified Monday that she was pushed to the ground from behind, beaten in the face and sexually assaulted last year as she left a North Park restaurant after picking up dinner.

The woman, identified in court as Genevieve, testified as a preliminary hearing got under way for 23-year-old David Angelo Drake II, who is accused of attacking seven women in similar fashion over a four-month period in the North Park area last year.

The woman said she had thought there were two attackers, testifying that it seemed as if one set of hands was punching her repeatedly and another set of hands was focused on trying to pull down her Spanx underwear during the 9 p.m. attack on June 24, 2014.

"I thought they were going to rape me right there,'' she said, adding that the attack ended suddenly and she used her cell phone to call 911.

Genevieve said she suffered a broken nose, bruises, scrapes and a second- degree burn from hot soup she was carrying.

Another woman, identified as Emma, testified that she didn't remember much about being attacked sometime after 11:30 p.m. on June 11, 2014, after having drinks with a friend at a bar in North Park.

She said she remembered stopping at a Walgreens store and buying pita chips and some other groceries, but doesn't remember anything else until she was being put on a stretcher near her mother's apartment.

San Diego police Detective Andrea Myers testified that surveillance video outside the apartment shows Emma naked from the waist down, holding her pants.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Tag told Judge David Gill that Drake is charged with attacking seven women in the area from April 30 to Aug. 28, 2014.

Images of a potential suspect in the assault series were made public in late August, leading to a tip that resulted in Drake's arrest.

Drake told a detective that he was a "sexual deviant'' and that the purpose of the attacks was to penetrate the victims' private areas, the prosecutor alleged.

DNA linked Drake to the assaults, according to Tag, who said a cell phone belonging to one of the victims was found during a search of his car.

The preliminary hearing, which resumes tomorrow, will determine if there is enough evidence for Drake to stand trial on 18 felony charges, including assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, sexual penetration by force and robbery.

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