One Year Ago Today (March 8, 2021)…A 45-year-old man repeatedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in a garage in San Juan Capistrano and then about a month later drugged and raped a woman in her car at an Irvine gas station, a prosecutor told a judge in the defendant’s non-jury trial.

The victim who was 16 at the time she was attacked testified she was walking home from work at El Pollo Loco in San Juan Capistrano about 3:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016, with a friend when she saw some other friends.

Deputy District Attorney Devin Crowley told Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett that the two were hanging out near a carport in an apartment complex when Alejandro Hernandez Garcia dragged the teen into a garage, where he was using drugs.

Garcia told her he was a “powerful person who could exert violence against people,” Crowley said.

“He continued to make verbal threats as the defendant proceeded to sexually assault” the victim, Crowley said.

Garcia sexually assaulted her repeatedly for “several hours,” Crowley said.

The teen’s friend went to look for her friend eventually and saw the garage was locked so she returned again later and was able to break into the garage with help from others, Crowley said.

The victim was clad only in her bra and was “naked underneath a blanket” as Garcia “was putting his clothes back on,” Crowley said.

The victim left with her friend, who told her brother’s girlfriend and eventually the police were contacted, Crowley said.

On Aug. 18, 2016, a 19-year-old woman was driving home after drinking with friends when she stopped at a gas station in Irvine to try to get her cellphone charged, Crowley said. When that wasn’t available, Garcia offered to help her do it in his car, Crowley said.

“She woke up, felt heavy, under the influence of some sort of drug and woke up with the defendant on top of her, making grunting sounds,” Crowley said.

About one year later, the 16-year-old girl saw the defendant and confronted him, “and an altercation ensues and ultimately the defendant is assaulted and taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries,” Crowley said.

At the hospital DNA samples were taken from the defendant and investigators linked him to the assaults, Crowley said.

Garcia, a San Juan Capistrano resident, is charged with a count of rape, two counts of sexual penetration by foreign object and force, two counts of forcible oral copulation, a count of sodomy by force, a count of rape by use of drugs and a count of assault with intent to commit a sex offense, all felonies.

Garcia’s attorney, Ed Welbourn, declined to make an opening statement in the trial on Monday. Testimony is scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

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