Trial involving Berkeley man accused of sexual assault continues

Maya Valluru/Staff

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A UC Berkeley student who was the victim of an attack on April 28, 2018, testified Monday in the ongoing trial of Alphonso McInnis, who is accused of both this attack and of the sexual assault of a then-15-year-old girl less than two weeks earlier.

Both victims remained anonymous in the trial: a high school student referred to as Jane Doe One and the UC Berkeley student, now 19, called Jane Doe Two. During earlier trial dates in June and early July, defense attorney Sydney Levin and prosecution attorney Nick Homer presented their opening statements. Jurors also heard testimony on the sexual assault of Jane Doe One. According to a statement from the Berkeley Police Department from May 4, 2018, Jane Doe One was walking on the 1500 block of Addison Street between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. on April 19, 2018, when her assailant grabbed her from behind.

“The victim said the suspect covered her mouth and pressed a gun into her side while telling her not to scream,” the statement read. “The victim said the suspect walked her eastbound on Addison Street and into the side yard of a residence where he sexually assaulted her.”

On Monday, Jane Doe Two testified on her own experience, being questioned by Homer before being cross-examined by Levin.

Jane Doe Two said she had left her friend’s house about 4:30 a.m. on April 28, 2018, to make the short walk to her residence hall, Slottman Hall. As she was jogging down College Avenue, she said in her testimony, she noticed a man heading toward her from about 26 feet away. As he passed, he said something along the lines of “Give me your things.”

At that point, Jane Doe Two started running away and could hear the man chasing her. She said he grabbed her with an arm around her neck and began leading her toward Slottman Hall and that he alluded to the fact that he had a gun. At a small walkway beside the residence hall, she said he began to lead her into the building, at which point she was able to break free from his grip and run toward the door.

At the door, the two struggled for about 30 seconds before Jane Doe Two was able to enter the building, and the attacker left. The confrontation was caught on security cameras, and the video was used by detectives to identify and arrest McInnis, according to the BPD statement. McInnis was arrested on May 3, 2018, according to the statement.

Jane Doe Two said she had been able to see the attacker’s face clearly when he passed her. Homer said that when she was shown photos of possible assailants a few days after the incident, on May 3, 2018, she wrote that the photo of McInnis “could be” her attacker. On July 15, when asked if her attacker was in the courtroom, Jane Doe Two identified McInnis.

This trial is ongoing, and a further hearing is scheduled to take place July 16 in Judge Thomas Rogers’ courtroom.

Contact Ella Langenthal at [email protected].