A couple roommates suspected of trying to kidnap a 15-year-old girl while she was waxing her surfboard in Encinitas were ordered to stand trial in court Thursday, confirmed prosecutors.
Christopher White, 26, and Jeremiah Owens, 27, face felony charges for kidnapping and assault with intent to commit rape, as well as false imprisonment and a lewd act against a child, according to the San Diego County District Attorney.
Both defendants made their closing arguments at the preliminary hearing. If convicted, they each face nine years in state prison.
The DA's Office said their next court appearance is set for Nov. 1, and the trial will take place on Dec. 6. The suspects will be held without bail.
Owens has been accused of directly attacking the girl, while White waited in a truck across the street. The neighborhood on Neptune Avenue near Avocado Street was shaken by the crime back in July.
The victim was able to escape the suspects before a sexual assault was carried out, said Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens. But they attacked her with the intention to commit a lewd act with a minor, which carries sexual assault charges.
Other witnesses had reported the suspects for leering at their 13-year-old daughter in a previous incident, according to the District Attorney.
Less than an hour before the attack took place, some other witnesses noticed the suspicious men sitting in a truck across from the driveway and recorded a video of them.
According to the District Attorney's office, White does not have a previous criminal record, but Owens does have two prior convictions for a DUI and disturbing the peace.
Deputies arrested Owens and White on July 28, just two days after the alleged crime. One of them approached the girl who was waxing her surfboard in a driveway and allegedly pinned her to the ground, as his partner waited in a nearby truck.
The girl was able to fight off the man and escape into the house, locking the door behind her.
In the week following the attempted kidnapping, neighbors distributed surveillance photos that appeared to match the suspects' truck. It was spotted in Cardiff, not far away from the attack just days later, and both men were arrested.
Community involvement helped lead to the suspects' speedy arrests, according to the Sheriff's spokesperson.