SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Jury selection was scheduled to get underway in San Diego Tuesday in the trial of two teenagers charged as adults in the sexual assault of two teenage girls in a Rancho Penasquitos park.
Leonel Contreras and William Steven Rodriguez are charged with 21 counts, including rape, sodomy by force and kidnapping. The defendants, who were 17 and 16 respectively as of early this year, face more than 325 years to life in prison if convicted.
The alleged victims were 15- and 16-year-olds who attended a family Labor Day party in the 12600 block of Spindletop Road, then walked to a nearby park about 8:15 p.m. Sept. 3, 2011.
Identified in court as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, the girls testified during a preliminary hearing that they were attacked from behind by two boys.
Jane Doe 1 said she felt a knife to her neck as her friend struggled with a second attacker, identified in court as Rodriguez. The witness said Contreras put the knife in his jacket pocket at some point during the 30-45 minute assault.
The boys then allegedly switched partners, with Rodriguez raping Jane Doe 1 and Contreras raping Jane Doe 2 nearby.
According to court testimony, the defendants and the alleged victims did not know each other.
Graffiti led investigators to Rodriguez, who lives in the area and who allegedly told police what happened, according to court testimony. Police then tracked down Contreras, who allegedly said their original plan was to rob someone that night.
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A cloudy start to the week with cooler weather for Monday and Tuesday. At the coast Monday, temperatures will hit the high 60s with high 70s for the inland communities.