Sex assault suspect pleads not guilty

January 16, 2008 1:22:43 PM PST
An Antioch man pleaded not guilty today to charges that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old disabled woman and an 11-year-old girl in Pittsburg in December, a Contra Costa County Superior Court clerk said.

Nathan Henderson, 28, is charged with two counts of attempted forcible oral copulation and one count each of kidnapping for sexual purposes, assault with the intent to commit sexual assault, forcible lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14 and attempted forcible sexual penetration in connection with two Dec. 15 attacks on the two victims.

The first incident occurred at about 9:15 a.m. as the 19-year-old victim was walking in the area of Harbor and Army streets. A man driving a green sedan approached her and offered her a ride, police reported.

She accepted and the man, believed to be Henderson, allegedly drove her to a nearby residential neighborhood, where he attempted to sexually assault her inside his car.

The woman screamed and was able to break free from her attacker and get out of the car. The man fled.

Less than two hours later, at about 11 a.m., a man also believed to be Henderson approached an 11-year-old girl as she was walking in the area of School Street and Railroad Avenue.

The man initially tried to coax the girl into his car by offering her a ride home, but she declined.

He then followed along beside her in his car and continued to try to convince her to get in, Pittsburg police Lt. Brian Addington said.

When the girl broke into a jog to get away, the man pulled his car into her path, got out and forced her inside, Addington said.

The man then drove the girl to a residential neighborhood about 3 miles away and sexually assaulted her inside his car, police reported.

After the assault, he drove the girl back to the general area where he had allegedly abducted her, according to police.

Police arrested Henderson at his home Dec. 24 after evidence allegedly connected him to the two assaults, Addington said.

Henderson was driving a green BMW similar to the green sedan involved in the two incidents, Addington said.

During an interview with police investigators later that evening, Henderson allegedly "made some admissions about things that only the suspect in the cases would have known," Addington said.

Henderson is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing Jan. 29. His bail remains at $1 million, according to the clerk.