A 17-year-old Arroyo Grande girl feared for her life as she was allegedly kidnapped and assaulted by a Santa Maria man in May, she testified during a court hearing Friday.
The case against Fernando Frias, who was in court Friday for a preliminary hearing on charges stemming from the alleged attack, is expected to proceed to trial.
Frias, 23, is also accused of the attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl earlier in the day May 26.
Frias has pleaded not guilty to eight charges: kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, criminal threats, assault with the intent to commit rape, attempted kidnapping, attempted false imprisonment, and annoying or molesting a child.
The alleged victims were referred to in court as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.
The 17-year-old girl spoke softly and paused for several moments at times during her testimony.
She said she was walking home from Arroyo Grande High School in the afternoon when Frias approached her on Fair Oaks Avenue and asked for help looking for a dog. The girl said she smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and declined his request twice.
Apprehensive, she started walking back toward the school when he grabbed her and threw her down an embankment, the girl testified. She kicked him, and he sat on her waist and hit her with a rock, she said.
“I was afraid of dying because of how many times he hit my head,” she testified.
She also feared he’d rape her if the attack continued, she said.
The girl, who showed lawyers a scar on her forehead, testified Frias hit her at least three times with a rock after throwing her to the bed of Arroyo Grande Creek near the Fair Oaks Avenue bridge.
She said Frias covered her mouth and told her to be quiet; a man came along, at which point Frias ran away.
Matthew Guerrero, Frias’ attorney, asked the girl whether Frias made any sexual contact with her during the alleged attack, and she said no sexual contact was made during the incident.
The girl was taken to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, where she received stitches on her head. She missed two weeks of school, she said.
Earlier in the day, Frias also allegedly grabbed the bike a 12-year-old was riding before a neighbor appeared and scared him off. Frias then allegedly got in his truck and yelled and gestured at the 12-year-old.
The 12-year-old girl didn’t appear in court, but investigators said she told them Frias also asked her for help looking for his dog before he grabbed her bike.
Guerrero argued there was not enough evidence to support the allegations involving the 12-year-old.
Guerrero argued that the testimony also didn’t show his client touched the 17-year-old girl in a sexual manner and sought to throw out the assault with intent to commit rape charge.
Frias is scheduled back in court Aug. 30.