Trial begins for alleged Barbie-costumed attacker - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trial begins for alleged Barbie-costumed attacker

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Opening statements are scheduled Thursday in the trial of a man accused of attacking a woman in a toilet stall last year while wearing a child's pink Barbie costume at a Big Lots store in Clairemont.

Gregory Phillip Schwartz, 41, is charged with four felonies, including assault with the intent to commit rape and false imprisonment by violence. He faces more than seven years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett.

The victim, identified in court as Susan, testified at an earlier hearing that she went into the women's restroom in the Big Lots store on Clairemont Drive the afternoon of Feb. 28 and noticed a man's bare feet in the next stall.

She said before she knew it, he was crawling on the ground and into her stall, prompting her to start screaming. The man, who was wearing jeans and pink Barbie costume, then put his hands around the woman's neck and pushed her toward the wall.

The woman continued to fight back and eventually ran for help.

San Diego police said store surveillance footage showed Schwartz going into the women's restroom and running out of it. He was arrested in the area of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Diane Avenue two days later.

Police said at the time of his arrest, Schwartz was on probation for two misdemeanor convictions, including one for drugs.

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