A 30-year-old Garden Grove man was behind bars Wednesday, facing attempted murder and sexual assault charges for allegedly attacking a 68- year-old woman who’s battling for her life.
Michael Varela was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and assault with the intent to commit a sex offense, according to court records. He also faces a sentence-enhance allegation of attempted premeditated murder, which means he would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
It wasn’t clear what physical injuries were sustained by the victim.
Varela, who’s being held on $1 million bail, is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 29.
The victim remains in an intensive care unit, according to Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney.
“She’s in really bad shape,” he said.
Varela and the victim did not know each other, the lieutenant said.
“It’s a complete stranger thing,” Whitney said.
It appears the woman was attacked about 5:15 a.m. Sunday on the street or in a yard near where she was found in the 13400 block of Balos Drive, Whitney said.
“Neighbors came out and saw him near her and called the police,” he said.
The defendant was nearby when officers arrived, and he was immediately detained, Whitney said.
–City News Service
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