A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a man accused of trying to sexually assault a woman on a Balboa Park trail.
A jury could not unanimously decide if Ameen Ali Bryant, 21, is guilty of assault with intent to commit rape. Jurors became deadlocked 8-4 Thursday as they deliberated the case, leading to the mistrial.
Bryant faced the charges for an attack on Jan. 14, when he grabbed a woman walking along Bridle Trail, put his hands on her skin and forced her to the ground in broad daylight, the victim told the jury.
She believes Bryant intended to rape her.
"I was thinking to myself that I need to turn around or else it's going to be all over," she said describing how she began fighting the attacker who at that time was sitting on her hips.
However, Bryant told the court he attacked her not to sexually assault her, but to steal her cell phone.
He said he only grabbed the victim because she tried to fight back. “Other than that, it would’ve never happened,” Bryant said.
His defense attorney told the court when the woman screamed rape, his client “freaked out” and tried to stuff dirt in her face to distract her while he ran away.
When two passersby walked up the trail, Bryant took off. Police believe the witnesses scared him off.
Under cross-examination, the victim testified that the defendant did not say he wanted to rape her and did not touch private areas of her body.
The prosecutor said Bryant is a documented gang member with a prior strike for robbery in 2012. He’s currently on parole for that offense.