Victims testify at prelim hearing in Mission Beach home invasion case
by NEAL PUTNAM
Feb 07, 2007 | 5357 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After hearing testimony for two days about the rapes of two female college students in a Mission Beach condominium, a judge on Jan. 31 ordered three men to stand trial on all 19 charges plus six new charges after the victims testified in the preliminary hearing.

The trio will be arraigned Feb. 15 on 25 felony counts that include rape, forcible oral copulation, false imprisonment, robbery, kidnapping, sodomy, penetration with a foreign object and attempted rape. Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza amended the charges to reflect crimes the victims testified about which had not been originally charged.

Espinoza said the trio face maximum terms of 400 years to life if they are convicted and receive consecutive sentences. They include Antonio Washington, 18, Donald Dunate Smith, 19, and Willie Louis Watkins, 31, all from San Diego. Watkins was not initially charged with all of the sex offenses, but the charges are amended to allege he committed them in concert with the others.

The two female victims, who are both 18 and students at the University of San Diego, were unable to identify their attackers in court, as the men wore masks during the Oct. 15 home invasion. The women said the intruders had guns and repeatedly told them not to look at their faces.

According to testimony, two men with guns entered the home around 2 a.m. through an unlocked front door. Another man entered the home afterward and they separated the two females from the two males in the condominium. The men, who were 18 and 19 years old and also students at USD, were forced to sit in a bathtub while the women were sexually assaulted.

At one point, the intruders forced one male student to try to have sexual intercourse and oral copulation with one of the female victims, according to testimony. The attempted rape charges involve the male student being forced to have sex with a female victim.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Kerry Wells said she found each victim to be "very credible."

A victim identified only as Jack told the judge "two masked men opened my door with guns." He said the intruders had a bandanna or handkerchief to cover their faces and two of them held pistols. Jack testified they took $42 from his wallet, and later he was forced to remove cable connections from the wall so the men could take his television.

The female victims testified with a victim advocate seated nearby. One woman testified she was forced to orally copulate all three men. "Two different people had sex with me on the bed. I was raped twice there," she said.

The woman said the intruders took cash from her wallet in her purse. She said she offered them her car "because I wanted them to leave."

The second woman testified she was on the phone when the men entered the condo. She said she was ordered to the floor, and the men first asked where they kept their money. She said a gun was put to her head. Two robbers wore gloves, she said.

Two juveniles who were arrested for possession of stolen property from the victims testified the three men described the events that night to them. "They all took turns (raping) her," said one juvenile of what the men told him.

The prosecutor said the juveniles arrested in the case were not in the condo and were only charged with receiving stolen property that was given to them by the adult defendants. Espinoza said the juveniles' testimony will be told to a Juvenile Court judge when their cases are concluded.

The men took the women outside, but when they saw a police car, they quickly left, and the women ran back to the condo and called police. The men took a television, video games, cell phones and credit cards before leaving. The use of the credit cards and cell phones eventually led to their arrests by police about 10 days afterwards.

The three men remain in county jail on $1 million bail, and they have pleaded not guilty. A trial date will be set on Feb. 15.
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