A Chula Vista man charged with rape in a Balboa Park sex assault last week pleaded not guilty in court, where prosectors revealed he had two related misdemeanors on his record.
Ismael Hernandez, 27, of Chula Vista, was formally charged with multiple rape-related charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a mother twice, at knife point, in what investigators called an 'unspeakable' crime. He is also charged with attempting to sexually assault another woman near Balboa Park.
At his arraignment, Hernandez was charged with 13 felony counts of sex crimes, including sexual penetration by use of force, sexual battery by restraint, forcible oral copulation, attempted kidnapping for a specific felony crime and multiple counts of forcible rape. Twelve of those charges stem from one victim, and one stems for a different victim.
Court documents revealed Hernandez had two related misdemeanors: in 2009, he was found guilty of secretly filming a person. In 2010, he was found guilty of prowling and peeping, a second misdemeanor. He was also convicted of felony robbery in 2012.
Hernandez was arrested several days after the assault, thanks to a specific sketch and community efforts.
"This took a great effort on behalf of the victims in this case that were able to focus during such a traumatic event, they were able to recall details of tattoos and facial details that were used for a composite sketch," said Judy Taschner, Deputy District Attorney.
Officials outlined Hernandez's alleged path in the 'random' attacks on Thursday, May 5.
Police said one woman was assaulted outside a business near 6th Avenue and Cedar Street Thursday evening. She saw Hernandez’s reflection on her car window and was able to fight him off with a bag of her takeout food and run away.
Minutes later, prosecutors said, he found his second victim: a mother on the 1600 block of 8th Avenue as she walked to her car, parked on 9th Street.
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.
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.
Prosecutors said the second victim's attack lasted two and a half hours.
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.
Hernandez was held on $5 million bail.