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February 04, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, February 04, 2005

Sex assault charge contested Sex assault charge contested (February 04, 2005)

MV man a suspect in case at Los Altos home

By Jon Wiener

A Mountain View man arrested last Friday morning for sexually assaulting a Los Altos woman has accused police of violating his civil rights.

Gerardo Albarran-Mateos, 22, said that while in custody of Los Altos police, he was not allowed to speak with a lawyer, was forced to sign statements in English that he did not understand and did not get his clothes returned upon posting bail.

A Los Altos police department spokesman said that an interpreter was present as a precaution and the suspect's clothes were kept as evidence.

Police arrested Albarran-Mateos in his Mariposa Avenue home early Friday morning, after tracking the car he had been driving. The woman positively identified him as the suspect, and he was charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment.

Albarran-Mateos told the Voice he got lost while driving to Los Altos Grill, where he was planning to apply for a job. He said he asked the woman how to get there, and she then invited him into her house on St. Joseph Avenue and offered him a glass of water while she pulled directions off her computer.

Los Altos Police Sgt. John Hughmanick said that the woman's testimony and undisclosed evidence found inside the house were enough to arrest the suspect.

"There is certainly more to it than him just going in and getting a drink of water and then leaving," said Hughmanick, though he would not go into detail.

Albarran-Mateos said nothing else happened. But Hughmanick said that a taped interview of the suspect, given through an intepreter to Detective Cameron Shearer, essentially corroborated the woman's recounting of events.

Albarran-Mateos, who posted $15,000 bail, is next due in court Feb. 14.

The accusations of civil rights violations against the Los Altos police department are not new. A group of Mountain View day workers, charged with trespassing while they were on a sidewalk, is also in a dispute with the city of Los Altos.

E-mail Jon Wiener at [email protected]

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