Grocery store employee assaulted in freezer

February 20, 2009 12:32:30 PM PST
A 23-year-old grocery store employee will go to trial in San Mateo County Superior Court in April for allegedly assaulting a female co-worker in a store freezer, a deputy district attorney said today.

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Esgar Rudy Gonzalez is charged with one count of assault with attempt to commit rape, one count of sexual battery, one count of false imprisonment and one count of felony assault for the Jan. 18 attack at the South San Francisco market where he and the woman worked, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The alleged attack occurred after the woman entered the walk-in freezer to put her lunch away when Gonzalez suddenly closed and locked the door behind her, according to Wagstaffe.

Gonzalez allegedly kept her locked in the freezer for two minutes, then opened the door and went inside. She tried to push past him but he blocked her path, pushed her onto some boxes and tried to remove her clothes, Wagstaffe said.

Another co-worker reportedly saw the struggle and shouted for Gonzalez to stop. Gonzalez left the area but was arrested after the victim reported the attack to police.

Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

His jury trial is scheduled for April 13, according to Wagstaffe.

Gonzalez faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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