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Newhall man arrested after woman attacked in her garage

Posted: February 26, 2013 5:01 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2013 5:01 p.m.

A 25-year-old Newhall construction worker is in custody Tuesday facing assault charges after he allegedly attacked a woman in her garage in Canyon Country last week, a local sheriff’s spokesman said.

“The deputies did a good job on this,” Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Tuesday.

On Thursday, about 6:30 p.m., deputies responded to an assault call from a woman in the 18000 block of Saratoga Way, inside the American Beauty Complex, Dubin said in a press release issued Tuesday.

A woman was assaulted when she was leaving her garage, he said.

“The suspect confronted the victim as she was entering the breeze way leading to the condominium unit she was going to,” Dubin said.

He then attacked the woman and forced her back into the garage, he said.

The woman was forced to the ground but she fought back and was able to call out for help.

The suspect - described as 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds - then ran from the garage when the woman called for help.

A witness saw the suspect running through the complex, after being directed by the victim as to which way he ran, Dubin said.

“One sheriff’s unit came rolling up American Beauty,” one tenant in the complex told The Signal.

“Then three more units came up behind it.”

The tenant, who asked not to be named, said a similar incident occurred last summer in which a woman was attacked in her garage.


Detectives and crime lab specialists from Santa Clarita Valley responded to Thursday’s crime scene where they conducted their investigation, Dubin said.

Once there, they worked throughout the night and over the weekend gathering evidence to present to the District Attorney’s office for filing considerations.

During the investigation it was revealed that the suspect was recently released from prison under Assembly Bill 109, also known as the “Public Safety Realignment Act” that was signed into law April 2011.

According to Dubin, the suspect spent time in prison for a prior robbery and assault that occurred in 2008.

He was released from prison in November under AB 109 after serving time following an August 2011 arrest for being a convicted felon possessing a firearm, Dubin said.

Robert Pena was arrested Thursday at 7:45 p.m. and initially charged with attempted rape by force or fear.

Once prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office reviewed the case, however, they decided to prosecute him on charges of false imprisonment by violence, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and two counts of first degree burglary, person present.

Pena’s prior felony convictions were taken into consideration when his bail was set at $260,000.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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