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Closing arguments today in attempted rape case

Closing arguments are set to begin today in an attempted rape case in which the defendant faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

Jaime Hernandez Gonzalez, 34, is charged with assault with intent to commit rape while in the commission of a burglary ? a charge that carries a life sentence with the possibility of parole. He is also charged with evading police and obstructing officers.

He is accused of breaking into a rural Cotati area home on Dec. 22, 2007 and trying to sexually assault a 21-year-old woman.

The woman and a 20-year-old female friend staying with her testified last week during trial that they saw a strange vehicle following their car as they returned home from being out in Petaluma earlier that night. Concerned, they let the car pass them before they pulled into their driveway.

Shortly after going to sleep, the women testified, the 21-year-old awoke to find a naked man standing over her bed. He was holding his clothes in one hand, one woman testified.

As she screamed and tried to fight him off, he pulled off her pajamas and underwear, the victim testified. She ran from the house as did her friend and the man.

Both women then returned to the house, grabbed butcher knives from the kitchen, locked themselves in a bathroom and called police.

Minutes later, Cotati police arrested Hernandez Gonzalez a short distance away.

The victim identified Hernandez Gonzalez as the man who assaulted her and his car as the one she saw following them toward the house. She said she had never met him.

Hernandez Gonzalez is being held at Sonoma County Jail on $540,000 bail during the trial. Immigration officials also have placed a no-bail hold on him.


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