Not guilty plea from man accused of sexually assaulting housekee - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Not guilty plea from man accused of sexually assaulting housekeeper at Midway District hotel

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of beating and raping a housekeeper who had just cleaned a room at a Midway District hotel pleaded not guilty Friday to seven charges, including forcible rape and rape by a foreign object.

Christopher R. Stevens, 44, was ordered held in lieu of $3 million bail.

Besides six felony counts, Stevens also faces a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment for an alleged attack on a second person four days before the hotel assault, said Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador.

Stevens, who has prior convictions for auto theft, burglary and robbery dating back to 1988, faces up to 256 years to life in prison if convicted of the latest charges, Amador said.

The defendant was arrested Monday at his Mission Valley hotel room in connection with the attack that happened Dec. 21 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Sports Arena Boulevard, said San Diego police Lt. Anastasia Smith.

The 54-year-old victim was leaving a vacant room she had just cleaned sometime between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. when the suspect allegedly confronted her and forced her back inside, Smith said.

The woman fought her attacker, but was beaten and sexually assaulted, the lieutenant said.

The suspect ran from the scene following the attack, at which point the victim was able to call police. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

SDPD Crime Laboratory personnel positively identified Stevens as the suspect from evidence collected at the crime scene, Smith said.

The DNA evidence was also linked to evidence collected from a reported sexual assault at Hourglass Field Community Park on Oct. 9, Smith said.

In that case, Stevens was arrested four days after the assault, but was released when prosecutors did not file charges. Amador would not comment on whether charges were forthcoming in the Oct. 9 assault.

Stevens -- who is also charged with assault and making a criminal threat in the Dec. 21 attack -- will be back in court Jan. 9 for a readiness conference and Jan. 11 for a preliminary hearing.

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