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Woman testifies of fighting off would-be rapist while she was cleaning Irvine office

A man holding a skateboard points what looks like a gun at a woman carrying a vacuum; both faces are digitally obscured.
Surveillance footage from Feb. 6, 2019, shows a man pointing a replica gun at a woman during the alleged attempted sexual assault in an Irvine office building.
(Irvine Police Department)
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Jurors heard testimony from a woman who fought off a man suspected of pointing a replica gun at her and trying to rape her while she was cleaning an office building in Irvine, and saw surveillance footage of the attack during the first day of his trial Tuesday.

The woman, referred to only as Jane Doe during court proceedings, said she was vacuuming on the first floor of a business on the 17800 block of Von Karman Avenue about 1:20 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2019. The business was closed at the time, and she was the only person in the building.

A man wearing a hoodie and carrying a skateboard walked in and approached her, asking whether she wanted to have sex, she said. She declined, took a phone out of her pocket and told him she was going to call the police. He drew what appeared to be a handgun from his waistband and aimed it at her face, she said.

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“He said, ‘You’re not calling no one. You’re alone. You’re lost,’” the woman recalled through a court-appointed Spanish interpreter.

In video of the attack that was played Tuesday in Superior Court in Santa Ana, the victim is heard shrieking as the man draws the replica weapon, causing a handful of people in the courtroom to gasp. Tuesday was the first time Doe had seen video recordings of what happened to her in their entirety.

A 21-year-old Santa Ana man is seen on video pulling a gun on a woman as she cleaned an office building in Irvine, police said. 

“I started pleading to him, ‘I have two small children who need me.’ He told me he didn’t care,” the woman said through an interpreter.

The man and woman are seen struggling for about five minutes in the video. She said he was trying to disrobe her as they fought for control of what she believed to be a real gun. The woman said she also saw a knife in his pants, but was unable to recall further details about what he was wearing.

The woman suffered a torn muscle in her shoulder, bruising to her arms and abrasions to her face during the altercation. After she and the man wound up in a room adjacent to the workspace she had been cleaning, she managed to take the replica weapon away from her attacker.

She then ran to another building in the business complex to find one of her co-workers, screaming as she fled. The left sleeve of her top had been torn, and she kept her hands tightly clasped around the replica firearm until her colleague managed to help her calm down and relinquish her grip, she said.

Irvine police had released portions of surveillance videos from that morning in hopes of identifying the man in the video, and a tipster named the defendant, Eduardo Godoy Gonzalez, now 25, of Santa Ana, as a suspect. He was arrested the next day at the Tustin supermarket where he worked, Irvine Police Det. Leticia Hernandez said from the witness stand Tuesday.

Another woman contacted authorities after they had shared footage of the attempted sexual assault. She told them someone matching the description of the man in the video had propositioned her for sex in the Santa Ana area in a fashion similar to what the woman in the Irvine case described, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jeffrey Boyd said during opening statements Tuesday. That encounter was never formally reported to police.

The attorney assigned to defend Gonzalez did not present an opening statement Tuesday.

Gonzalez faces felony allegations of kidnapping to commit rape, assault with intent to commit a sex crime, criminal threats and second-degree burglary, as well as one misdemeanor count of brandishing a replica gun.


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