The suspect in a brutal child sexual assault case makes his first court appearance to hear the charges against him.
The Union City man is accused of raping a 2-year-old child, at an East Bay discount store this past Wednesday. Eugene Ramos did not enter a plea on Friday in the Fremont Superior Courtroom.
The registered sex offender stood without expression in as he is being held on three counts; and one is a forcible lewd act on a child.
"Assault with intent to commit a sex crime and attempt top commit intercourse or sodomy on a child under the age of 10 and a strike prior," Prosecutor Angela Backers said.
The prior strike Backers mentioned doubles as his possible sentence. It stems from a conviction from a 2003 sexual assault, when the 36-year-old was convicted of sexual assault on a 7-year-year old girl in Hayward. He was sentenced to four years but served only one year before being placed on parole.
By September of last year, he was out of jail and off parole. He now faces the possibility of decades in prison.
"His maximum exposure is approximately 21 years, if he went to trial and was convicted of everything," Backers said.
The assault happened Wednesday at a Dollar Tree store in Union City. The 2-year-old he allegedly assaulted was separated from her grandmother while shopping. When spotted, Ramos ran from the store and was stopped by three people who held him until police arrived.
"How an individual, obviously, has no concern about who's going to witness the event, that has us baffled," Captain Brian Foley from Union City Police said.
According to court documents obtained by ABC7 News, before his prior conviction in 2003 Ramos' grandmother told a judge that he was mentally ill and they didn't have the money to get him treatment.
The court ordered a psychologically evaluation. But in 2004 Ramos wrote to the judge stating that after evaluation he felt, "I have regained my competence to stand trial. I am familiar with all the information I need to know to assist my attorney in my defense. I am stabilized on psychiatric drugs and have been for several months."
ABC7 News asked Backers if being on medication or mentally ill would be a defense.
"I don't know, but whether he was on medication or off doesn't make you want to rape a baby," she said.
She also added the child is recovering.
"She is with the family. She has gone through an exam and that's all I can say. As you can imagine, it was quite traumatic," Backers said.
Ramos is expected to be back in court on Dec. 6.
Late Friday afternoon, surveillance video was released of how the suspect almost got away.
There were many people at the dollar store at the time of the assault, but that of course was not a deterrent for the suspect. From the surveillance video, you can see customers and employees at the Dollar Tree turning their attention to the back of the store. Police say the commotion was Ramos being caught in the act, assaulting a two-year old girl. He's seen running through the aisles, making his way toward the exit, but just after he leaves the camera's view, a couple of customers tackle him outside.
Witnesses to the crime are asked to call Detective Sergeant Jared Rinetti at (510) 675-5229. Those wishing to use the tip line can call (510) 675-5207 or e-mail information to firstname.lastname@example.org.