A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.
A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

A 25-year-old man Thursday made his initial appearance in court to face charges of sexually assaulting two women in separate attacks in parking structures at the Irvine Spectrum.

Gregory Ditto of Temecula was arrested in Lake Elsinore about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, several hours after an alleged assault in the parking garage. He is also accused of attacking another woman at the shopping center on July 20, according to Irvine police Commander Mike Hallinan.

Ditto was charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit a sex offense, and single counts each of sexual battery, attempted kidnapping to commit a sex offense, and attempted sexual penetration by a foreign object and force, all felonies.

The most recent alleged assault was reported about 10 a.m. at the shopping center, according to Hallinan. Ditto’s arraignment today was rescheduled for Aug. 26, according to Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel. He faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted as charged.

The July 20 incident happened just before 5:15 p.m., Garrel said. Ditto came up behind the woman, scooped her up and carried her toward a stairwell at the shopping center’s parking garage, but she fought him off and he ran away, Garrel alleged.

In this week’s incident, Ditto allegedly forced the victim down to the floor of the structure and restrained her while attempting to sexually assault her, Garrel said. The woman managed to wriggle free and Ditto fled, the prosecutor added.

The woman managed to get the suspect’s license plate number and passed it on to police, Garrel said.

–City News Service 

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