A San Diego man was in custody Monday on multiple rape-related charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a mother twice and attempting to assault another woman, at knife point, in Balboa Park, San Diego Police (SDPD) said.
Ismael Hernandez, 27, of Chula Vista, was arrested at 9:20 p.m. Saturday.
He was booked into San Diego County Jail and charged with rape, kidnap for rape, digital penetration by a foreign object, oral copulation by force, using a dangerous weapon during an assault, criminal threats, false imprisonment and three counts of attempted sexual assault.
Hernandez is accused of attempting to assault one woman, then sexually assaulting a second woman, twice, SDPD Cpt. Brian Ahern said Sunday.
Hernandez was near 6th Avenue and Cedar Street on Thursday when he approached the first victim from behind, Ahern said. The victim saw Hernandez in the reflection of her car window and was able to fight him off and run away, he said.
Ahern said police believe this is the same suspect that attacked a mother shortly after, twice, at knife point.
The first encounter happened along the 1600 block of 8th Avenue, as the victim walked to her car parked on 9th Avenue.
As the woman walked, Hernandez allegedly confronted and pulled a knife on her, police said. He threatened to kill the victim if she didn’t follow his orders.
“The suspect brandished a knife and threatened to harm the victim if she didn’t do what he told her to do,” explained SDPD Capt. Brian Ahearn.
Police said Hernandez demanded the victim walk with him into Balboa Park. He made her walk with him down Date Street, near the Interstate 5 fence. As they made their way to the park, he continued to threaten the woman with the knife.
Police said they went up a staircase on 6th Avenue and entered Balboa Park. That's where the man sexually assaulted the woman, police said.
"It's unspeakable what the suspect forced the victim to do," said Ahearn.
The suspect then forced the woman to walk back to the 1600 block of 9th Avenue near Cortez Hill. At that second location, he sexually assaulted her once more, police said.
The suspect fled the scene. When officers arrived, he was nowhere to be found.
Ahern said Hernandez allegedly attacked the second victim around 10 p.m.
No further details were immediately released. The investigation is ongoing and police are looking into whether there are more victims.