Woman who fought off rape suspect while she was cleaning an Irvine office testifies in court

A man points a replica gun at a woman during an alleged attempted sexual assault in Irvine in 2019.
A man, seen in surveillance footage, points a replica gun at a woman during an alleged attempted sexual assault in Irvine on Feb. 6, 2019.
(Courtesy of the Irvine Police Department)

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, Nov. 29.

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

For the record:

6:53 p.m. Dec. 1, 2022This story has been updated to correct the order of the defendant’s last name.

A man wearing a hoodie and carrying a skateboard walked in and asked her if she wanted to have sex as he approached her. She declined his proposition, took a phone out of her pocket and said 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.

“He said, ‘You’re not calling no one. You’re alone. You’re lost,‘” the woman recalled, as interpreted by court-appointed Spanish translator Silvia Esparza.

The victim was heard shrieking as the replica weapon was drawn, causing a handful of people present in department C27 of the Santa Ana Superior Courthouse to gasp as footage of the attempted sexual assault was played. Tuesday was the first time she 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 were seen struggling for about five minutes. She said he was trying to disrobe her as they fought for control of what she believed to be a real gun. The victim also saw a knife in his pants, although she was unable to recall further details about what he was wearing that morning.

The woman suffered a torn muscle in her shoulder, bruising to her arms and abrasions to her face during the altercation. She was unsure exactly how they wound up in a room adjacent to the work space she had been cleaning, which was where 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 and was 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.

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 Gonzalez-Godoy, now 25, of Santa Ana, as a suspect. He was arrested at the Tustin supermarket he worked at on Feb. 7, 2019, Irvine Police Det. Leticia Hernandez said from the witness stand Tuesday.

Another woman who contacted authorities after they had shared footage of the attempted sexual assault said someone matching the description of the man in the video had tried to proposition her for sex in the Santa Ana area in a fashion similar to what the victim 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-Godoy did not present an opening statement on Tuesday. He 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.

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.