Faced with what appears to be a mountain of evidence implicating him in the brutal rape and robbery of three women in the Mission district last year, Frederick Dozier Jr. maintains that he’s not guilty — even claiming to a police detective that one of the victims had made a pass at him.
Opening statements in Dozier’s trial were given Tuesday. He faces 26 charges in connection with three horrific sexual assaults on 24th Street on June 17, Nov. 18 and Dec. 8.
Prosecutor Marshall Khine played a video recording in court of a police interview with Dozier in which the suspect admitted to encountering all three women on the three separate nights. During the interview, Khine said, Dozier “minimized” how violent those encounters were.
The victim of the Nov. 18 attack was reportedly grabbed from behind at a bus stop near Potrero Avenue and 24th Street and dragged 146 feet along the sidewalk to a dimly lit spot against a parked car. She was choked nearly to unconsciousness, forced to orally copulate with Dozier and then robbed, Khine said.
But Dozier’s account to the detective was that he “bumped right into her. …I just kept moving and she was right there.” He added, “She told me, ‘Can I kiss you?’ and I’m like, ‘No.’”
A photograph of the aftermath of that incident showed that the victim had bloodshot eyes from being strangled, Khine said.
All three attacks put the neighborhood on edge, but Dozier’s arrest in January provided some relief. Dozier has pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains in custody.
During his opening comments Tuesday, Khine told a jury that DNA evidence directly links Dozier to two of the rapes. Analysis reveals a “1-in-4 quintillion” chance that Dozier’s DNA isn’t a match to the semen found on the scarf of the first victim, Khine said. Odds are nearly as good that his DNA also matches samples taken from the second victim, the prosecutor added.
A photograph of the victim from the Dec. 8 incident shows how increasingly brutal each attack became, Khine said. The victim had suffered a cut so deep on her nose, apparently from being punched, that cartilage could be seen, he said.
Each attack occurred near Dozier’s home at 1440 Treat Ave., Khine pointed out. Two of the victims were headed to work and the other was coming home from a friend’s house when they were grabbed from behind during the dark hours of early morning, Khine said.
Wearing a dress shirt and tie Tuesday, the bearded Dozier looked uneasy, shifting in his seat as one of the victims testified about the terrifying incident she endured.
The victim said that after trying to resist her attacker, the attacker said, “F*** it, we’re just going to do this here.”
She said she was then dragged to a dark spot next to a parked car in a driveway and forced into oral sex after the attacker unsuccessfully attempted intercourse.
“He got frustrated,” the victim said, adding that she was afraid that if she screamed she would be hurt worse.
Dozier’s attorney, Gary Goldman, countered that all the evidence presented by Khine, including the DNA, is refutable and leaves doubt about Dozier’s guilt. Even the first victim picking Dozier from a police lineup will be refuted, Goldman said.
“With each piece of evidence, there is a problem that Mr. Khine will have to overcome,” Goldman said.