|For Immediate Release
Case # 07SF1200
January 30, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO MAN CONVICTED OF RAPING WOMAN IN STRANDED CAR ON FREEWAY IN VIEW
OF PASSING TRAFFIC
SANTA ANA – A San Juan Capistrano man was convicted today of forcibly raping a stranded woman in her car on the side of the freeway after her car became disabled in an accident. Alejandro Martinez Leyva, 26, pleaded guilty to one felony count of forcible rape, two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, one felony count of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, one felony count of dissuading a witness, and a sentencing enhancement for kidnapping to commit a sexual offense. Leyva was sentenced to 24 years in state prison.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 8, 2007, Jane Doe, 24, was driving southbound in the rain on Interstate 5 on her way home to San Diego County. The victim became stranded on the freeway in San Juan Capistrano after she swerved to avoid another car and hit the center divider. Jane Doe tried to make a few phone calls for help, but before she was able to call 9-1-1, Leyva pulled up in front of her car and approached the victim.
Leyva approached Jane Doe, who was standing outside of her car on the phone with a friend, and attempted to speak to her. Jane Doe got back into her car and Leyva approached the window and knocked. He grabbed the victim’s cell phone and threw it into the back of her car. He then overpowered the victim as she struggled to reach for her cell phone to call 9-1-1. Leyva again grabbed Jane Doe’s phone and threw it out of reach.
The victim was able to break free and began to run away, but she tripped just in front of the car. The defendant grabbed Jane Doe and dragged her back near the passenger side door. While still outside of the car, Leyva digitally penetrated Jane Doe, pushed the victim back into the car, and attempted to pull her pants down as the victim struggled to get away. He digitally penetrated Jane Doe again and then forcibly raped her in her car on the side of the freeway.
Prior to fleeing the scene, Leyva took Jane Doe’s cell phone number and called her more than 20 times over the next two days. The defendant left a palm print on a window of the car and his DNA was found on the victim from the rape.
Deputy District Attorney Tony Ferrentino of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.