Man Who Attempted to Sexually Assault Girl in Stater Bros. Supermarket Pleads Not Guilty

Stephen Magdaleno, age 38, plead "not guilty" to charges of assault to commit rape, false imprisonment by violence, and attempted escape from custody.

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Three days after deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrested a man for attempted rape inside a Whittier supermarket, that man -- 38-year-old Stephen Magdaleno -- appeared in court for the first time.

Showing no emotion as he sat in the courtroom on Wednesday, he appeared in the courtroom for about 5 minutes before entering his "not guilty" plea for all charges.

Those charges include assault to commit rape, false imprisonment by violence, and attempted escape from custody.

The court appearance comes three days after his arrest at the Stater Bros. supermarket at Mulberry and Mills in Whittier.

Around 2 p.m. on Sunday, deputies say Magdaleno followed a 16-year-old girl into a bathroom, locked the door and attempted to sexually assault her.

When she screamed, employees rescued her. She was later taken to a hospital for treatment.

"She was trembling, crying, scared, just trauma," said Ramon Sanchez, who was grocery shopping when the assault took place.

"He kind of barricaded himself in there, he wanted to lock himself in there, and so right when I got there they were already in there," he said. "They busted down the door, they pinned him down and they pulled the girl out and so it was just a very scary situation to be in that position. I’ve never seen something like that live."

Based on the nature of the crime Magdaleno allegedly committed, deputies believe there may be more victims. They're hoping some of those victims come forward with their stories.

"It’s scary. It’s dangerous out there," said Sanchez. "I can’t believe someone would try something like this."

He's thinking of the teen affected by the incident.

"Every day I pray for them. I pray for that little girl because she’s going to deal with this trauma for a long time."

The judge increased Magdaleno’s bail from $250,000 to $410,000, and he remains in custody for now.

Magdaleno's next court appearance is scheduled for early October.

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