What to Know
- A 28-year-old Tustin man was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted rape.
- Jorge Cruz De Armas pleaded to assault with the intent to commit a sex offense, attempted forcible rape and false imprisonment.
- As part of the plea deal, a kidnapping to commit a sex crime charge was dropped, according to court records.
A 28-year-old Tustin man pleaded guilty Friday to an attempted rape in Santa Ana and was immediately sentenced to six years and eight months in prison. Jorge Cruz De Armas pleaded guilty to assault with the intent to commit a sex offense, attempted forcible rape and false imprisonment.
As part of the plea deal, a kidnapping to commit a sex crime charge was dropped, according to court records. De Armas was driving his pickup in Santa Ana about 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 when he offered a 28-year-old woman a ride, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The Tustin resident was walking home from downtown Santa Ana at the time, Bertagna added. When the woman asked him where he was going, he told her he was looking for a Wells Fargo branch, Bertagna said. The woman told her there was one on her way home and she would direct him there. After she got into the truck, he told her, "I want sex," but she declined, Bertagna said.
When he asked for her phone number so he could call her for a date, she said she didn't have one, he added. The suspect then drove her to an alley in the 1600 block of East Palm Street, Bertagna said. When the woman remarked they weren't at a Wells Fargo branch, he responded, "I told you I'm going to get some sex," before he "jumps on top of her," Bertagna said.
Investigators suspect he "choked her out" because she didn't remember him putting duct tape over her mouth, Bertagna said. A witness who was attempting to turn from the alley into a parking lot where he worked, but was blocked by the pickup truck, got out of his vehicle to ask the driver to move, Bertagna said.
He heard the victim's muffled screams and saw she was muzzled, so he pulled open the truck's door and helped the woman out before the suspect hastily drove off, Bertagna said. The good Samaritan managed to take pictures of the car and captured an image of the license plate, which led detectives to De Armas, Bertagna said. When police arrested the suspect the duct tape was still in the vehicle, Bertagna said.