Prosecution’s Final Argument Presented in Sexual Assault Case

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By Ramneet Singh

WOODLAND, CA – Deputy District Attorney David Robbins appealed to the jury’s “common sense” in closing arguments Friday in the Jose Trinidad Perez Meza sexual assault trial here in Yolo County Superior Court. 

Meza is being charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation; sexual penetration against will; sexual battery; attempted rape by force; assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury, 2nd degree robbery, preventing or dissuading a witness/victim by threat or force; and preventing or dissuading a witness/victim from reporting.

The crimes allegedly occurred in 2018 and 2020

DDA Robbins said defense counsel “focused on nuances in the law and trying to confuse you and ask you to throw away your common sense.” Robbins referenced the argument “that these girls were simply mistaken, they were not.”

Focusing on the one of the victims, Robbins rebuked defense counsel Jesse Ortiz’s claim, “I don’t know what reasonable person would think that they would be tackled, and then have a stranger’s hand shoved down their pants in a claw-like motion and go towards the vagina and believe there wouldn’t be penetration.”

Robbins noted potential escalation of violence and how the victim resisted. Moreover, he brought up external factors including people being in a vehicle a couple of cars away and how Meza ran away.

Robbins stated “this was not simply a fondle.” He questioned that if it was, then why was it Meza “went underneath the underwear.”

He stated that the fondle interpretation was “not reasonable” and questioned “why plead if it’s not quite as serious as the other instances?”

Focusing on the penetration, Robbins looked at Meza’s physical attributes and his strength. He argued that “when you have someone making that claw-like motion, and rubbing on the vagina, it’s almost physically impossible that there’s not just a….most micro amount of skin or fingernail that crosses into her vagina.”

Robbins rebuked Ortiz’s claim of the officer’s misinterpretation of what happened and he stated “his intent has been escalating,” bringing up the other cases the accused was or had been involved with.

Robbins stated Meza’s prior conviction and that he was aware of the consequences in a different case, noting “then you have someone who he violently tackles on crutches, shoves his hand down her pants. And then you have…where he violently strangles her and saying ‘I want to f**k you’ while he’s trying to pry her legs apart.”

Moving toward a separate case, Robbins argued against Ortiz’s claim that there was a lack of evidence of intent to rape and gave details that counter Ortiz’s statement.

Robbins noted “he stopped because she made herself seem as sympathetic as possible in the moment…he doesn’t get a free pass because he’s regretful.”

Robbins discussed needing evidence to prove intent and the lack of admission. He stated “that’s ridiculous to think that no criminal case that has a subjective intent element, which is a lot, can be proven if there is no admission.” He appealed to common sense.

Moving to the robbery, Robbins focused on the time and how the phrase “extended period of time” is “relative.” He noted that the victim was dispossessed of her cellphone which was described as “necessary.”

He noted it wasn’t a short period of time as it was taken during the attempted act and the victim would not get it back until they were at the apartment or inside.

He once again appealed to common sense.

The trial will proceed Tuesday with the jury expected to be sent into deliberations.

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