By Shaden Cortez
Both the credibility and sanity of the victim was questioned by Jonathan Ortega’s defense attorney. Ortega is facing a misdemeanor charge of battery. It did not take long for the prosecution to point out that this was not Ortega’s first incident with physical assault. “SJ,” also identified as Ortega’s wife, was called to the witness stand and was asked questions about Ortega’s social patterns and an incident that took place in December of 2016. SJ and Ortega had gotten into an argument over a used condom that presumably was not used for SJ. The argument led to Ortega slapping SJ’s face. At first SJ did not want to press charges against Ortega, but did so anyway. SJ testified that Ortega was detained for several days after the charges were pressed but he did not see jail time.
SJ was also asked questioned about Ortega’s social life and hobbies. SJ admitted that Ortega often plays pool and attends frequent pool tournaments. In addition, he also helps the homeless by providing them food and short-lived shelter. However, the prosecution was suspicious of this claim, despite SJ saying she has seen him pick up homeless people in order to provide them with some assistance.
On October 6, 2017, Ortega was leaving a pool tournament when he picked up “AB,” a woman who appeared to need aid. He took her to a shopping center. Once they had arrived at the shopping center they stayed in Ortega’s vehicle, where AB said Ortega tried to take off her clothing and have sex with her. However, Ortega would disagree with this statement and say that AB attempted to take off her own clothing. While in the vehicle, AB had noticed suspicious items lingering around the vehicle such as visas and children’s clothing (Ortega has two children). AB started to believe she was in danger of harm. She thought that Ortega was either a serial killer, rapist or child molester. Once she had gathered her own conclusions, she started taking Ortega’s belongings and had decided to wear Ortega’s daughter’s sweater. In addition to taking Ortega’s belongings, AB also took Ortega’s car keys, which only antagonized Ortega to react. During Ortega’s attempt to retrieve his belongings and get her to remove herself from the premises, AB stayed put.
What Ortega did not know was that AB had had a history of trespassing and being asked to leave a vicinity but refusing to leave. In addition, she has also been charged with trespassing. AB also testified that she suffers from schizophrenia and mental illness. AB was also caught, two months after the altercation with Ortega, participating in a robbery where they had destroyed personal property and she was also wearing the clothing that they were trying to steal.
As the last bits of evidence were revealed, the prosecution and defense were ready for their closing arguments. The defense argued that AB was delusional and divorced from reality. Due to her mental and criminal history, AB was unable to control herself, thus Ortega reacted in self-defense. However, the prosecution argued that this was not an act of self-defense and, because AB was suffering from mental illness, she was Ortega’s perfect victim.