Mira Mesa

Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Elderly Woman at San Diego Church Will Stand Trial

Summit Point Church in Mira Mesa
Google Street

A man accused of sexually assaulting a 78-year-old woman at a Mira Mesa church was ordered Monday to stand trial on charges of assault with intent to commit rape and dissuading a witness.

Hugo Jonathan Espinoza-Martinez, 27, is accused of assaulting the woman on Nov. 25, 2022, at Summit Point Church on Rickert Road.

The alleged victim, identified in court only as Jane Doe, testified during a preliminary hearing Monday that she was alone at the church on the morning of Nov. 25, where she regularly volunteered.

As she was preparing to leave for the day, a man knocked at the door, asking to use the restroom, she testified.

Doe said the man "didn't look especially dangerous." She said in the moment, she'd thought about times she had needed to use a restroom in public in the past and "was trying to be kind."

Doe allowed him inside to use one of the church's restrooms. After he finished using the bathroom, she asked him to leave, but he didn't, Doe testified.

They spoke for some time outside the bathroom and at one point, he asked if he could hug her and she refused, Doe testified.

With her cell phone in her hand, Doe asked him again to leave or she would call the police.

Doe testified that as she was preparing to dial, Espinoza-Martinez tried to grab her phone and the ensuing struggle spilled into another room of the church, where the alleged assault occurred. She testified that she tried to step on his feet and use her keys to fend him off. At some point, she was able to separate herself from him, and Espinoza-Martinez then allegedly left the church.

He was arrested four days later on Westview Parkway, less than a mile from the site of the alleged sex crime. Monday's testimony did not reveal how police identified Espinoza-Martinez as the suspect.

Contact Us