By Lauren Zaren
This case is a reminder of the incredible risk of getting into a vehicle with a near-stranger.
On the night of February 2, a woman was with her friend at the Cache Creek Casino. While inside, they were approached by a man who tried to sell them a discount voucher for another casino. This man, Jeffrey Nicholas Main, continued to insert himself into the pair’s conversations.
Detective Jack Schubert of Yolo County Sheriff’s Office testified that Mr. Main was wearing a grey sweatshirt and jeans, and had a unique teardrop tattoo on his face. He identified the defendant as the same man.
The three were likely using methamphetamine and marijuana that day. Mr. Main apparently intended to trade meth for the other man’s marijuana. The other man gave him some marijuana but did not accept the meth in exchange.
The alleged victim planned to drive Mr. Main home to Colusa, saying she felt comfortable but asked her male friend to call her throughout the night. He called once and the phone was picked up briefly but there was no conversation. Later, the victim called, sounding upset, claiming that she had been assaulted.
The male friend said Mr. Main misrepresented himself as part of a class action lawsuit for Santa Rosa from PG&E, concerning last fall’s Paradise fires. He continued to call Mr. Main’s actions fraud against the court.
During the cross-examination of Detective Schubert, Deputy Public Defender Dave Muller asked if he was aware that the victim had bipolar disorder and may not have been taking her medication. He added that she had been awake for 36 straight hours before the assault occurred and had used meth during that time. These factors may have damaged the credibility of the victim, who testified earlier this week.
Her initial medical report included a claim that she was forced to perform oral sex on Mr. Main, which she later said never happened. Finally, Mr. Muller mentioned that the victim had at least one, if not several, STDs from her previous relationship, and disclosed this to Mr. Main. Surely, Mr. Muller posited, he would not want to risk contracting any STDs from the victim.
The prosecution drew attention to the injuries to the victim mentioned in the police report. She had red markings on her neck as well as several muscle strains and a jaw contusion.
Mr. Muller asked why the Contra Costa Health Services Medical Report was not filled out until February 7, five days after the assault occurred. He suggested that other events could have happened during that time which caused the victim injury.
Next, Deputy Sheriff Reiko Matsumura of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, approached the witness stand. She was called to Cache Creek Casino at 1:12am on the morning of February 3, to find a female sitting at a table shaking and crying. Matsumura approached the woman and asked if she was all right. The woman replied that she had been forced to do things that she did not want to.
She explained that she got into the driver’s seat of her car with Mr. Main, intending to drive him home. After driving a short distance, swerving frequently, she decided to return to the casino’s parking lot and sleep instead. Mr. Main directed her to park in a secluded area. She alleged that Mr. Main woke her up by trying to put some meth in her mouth.
He proceeded to hold her down by the neck and put a knife to her throat. He kissed her on the lips before lifting her shirt and groping as well as sucking on her breasts.
She managed to honk the car horn with her knee to draw attention to the trouble she was in. Mr. Main retaliated for this action by threatening to stick his knife “up [her] p****.”
Deputy Sheriff Matsumura took swabs from several locations on her body and her clothes were later booked into evidence.
Matsumura then tracked down Mr. Main with the help of casino security and conducted a search. When asked if he had anything illegal on him he declared that he had a pocket knife in his front right pocket, but failed to mention 6.3g of marijuana and a glass meth pipe that were also found on his person.
Mr. Main claimed that he did not have the knife with him during his time in the victim’s car. He said he got it from a friend once he returned to the casino and intended to use it to cut a blunt.
When asked if he kissed her, Mr. Main replied, “No, she has a f***ing STD.”
He later claimed that he kissed her hand and touched her breast. For this reason, he said, they might find his DNA on her body. He also commented “Those are very beautiful bosoms” to an officer about the victim’s breasts.
In addition, the victim noticed that around $100 was missing from her purse, which had been in the back seat of her car. She did not have any evidence that Mr. Main stole the money, however.
The prosecution and defense gave closing statements, mostly focusing on the reliability of the victim’s testimony and noting some inconsistencies in the story. The prosecution argued that, while some details were fuzzy, the marks on her neck and the victim’s ability to give an accurate description of the knife lent credibility to her allegations.
He explained that if Mr. Main did not have the knife on him while in her car, it is impossible that she would be able to describe it, as they had never met before that night. He also argued that her openness about drug use made her a trustworthy witness.
Finally, Mr. Muller, for Mr. Main, tried to have his client’s bail reduced from $70,000 to $25,000. This request was denied by Judge Sonia Cortés since there had been no change in circumstances.
Judge Sonia Cortés found sufficient evidence that a crime occurred. Mr. Main faces charges of two counts of the use of a deadly weapon, sexual battery, threatening to commit a crime, and the possession of narcotic paraphernalia. An arraignment will be held on May 16 at 9am in Department 9.