A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a man accused of beating and sexually assaulting two women on consecutive days and fleeing police for nearly two months before being arrested in Arizona.
Jeremiah Williams was found guilty on 12 of 13 charges related to the two sex assaults, including two counts of rape.
Prosecutors said Williams approached his first victim in August 2016 outside her apartment and beat her, then forced her inside her apartment and dragged her into her bedroom to rape her.
The victim testified that she felt her life was going to end when Williams attacked her. She said she was physically choked outside and inside the apartment.
Prosecutors say the day after the first, Williams sexually assaulted a woman in a room at a Motel 6 off Alvarado Road in La Mesa. They say the woman was working as a prostitute.
"Their lives forever changed when he brutally beat them, choked them, strangled them and raped them,” prosecutor Trisha Amador said. “He terrorized them with a gun and he threatened them."
Thomas Bahr, Williams’ defense attorney, argued that investigators tried to strengthen their case against Williams in the first assault in UTC by linking him to the second incident in La Mesa.
“In an effort to solve a brutal rape of Jane Doe 1, investigators infused a different case, a less credible case, a case rife with problems,” Bahr said in court.
Bahr didn’t deny that Jane Doe 1 was raped, but argued it was not done by Williams. He also claimed the second victim lied to police and to doctors as to what really happened to her.
After the second victim went to Sharp Memorial Hospital and reported the assault, investigators linked the victim to the Motel 6 incident. The woman's description of her attacker matched the description of the man accused in the University City assault.
San Diego police identified Williams through physical evidence found at a condo complex on Nobel Drive and investigators launched a manhunt for Williams, who has a criminal background in California and Texas.
In November 2016, Williams was arrested in Tolleson, Arizona after officers from the Arizona Wanted Violent Offender Task Force received a tip.
Williams is facing more than 100 years to life in prison.