The case of an Atascadero man accused of breaking into the apartment of a female Cal Poly student in 2017 and sexually assaulting her ended in a mistrial on Wednesday. [Tribune]
However, Tryone Anderson was simultaneously being tried for a 2018 attack on another woman in Atascadero, for which he was convicted of multiple charges. Anderson is currently facing the possibility of receiving a prison sentence for the Atascadero attack and a retrial of the case involving the Cal Poly student.
Anderson’s three-week jury trial, the one that concluded this week, included testimony from both alleged victims.
The Cal Poly student testified she was home alone in her apartment on Foothill Boulevard on the night of Dec. 4, 2017. While dressing in her room after taking a shower, she heard a stun gun in the living room, which startled her.
She ran out naked, thinking there was an electrical fire, and was then confronted by a man wearing an oversized leather jacket and black gloves, who was standing in the dark.
The alleged victim said the man put his hand over her mouth and held her from behind while he tied her wrists and ankles with duct tape. The man then rubbed lubrication on her body and tried to sexually assault her on her bed, she said.
She pleaded with the man and told him she was a virgin, the alleged victim testified. Suddenly, she heard the man exiting though the front of the apartment, she said.
Prosecutors said Anderson’s DNA was found on the edge of a piece of duct tape, possible from him tearing it with his mouth.
The defense argued the Cal Poly student staged the incident and duped investigators into going after Anderson.
For the alleged home invasion and sexual assault, Anderson faced felony charges of assault with intent to commit rape, sexual battery and first-degree burglary. The jury deadlocked on all three counts, and Judge Craig van Rooyen declared a mistrial.
The jury foreman said jurors deadlocked 10-1-1 on all three counts. But, he did not disclose whether the 10 votes were for guilty or acquittal.
Additionally, the jury acquitted Anderson of kidnapping with intent to commit rape for the May 2018 attack on a woman following a car crash in Atascadero. But, the jury convicted him of a lesser offense of attempted kidnapping, as well as of charges of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon.
Anderson’s attorney argued the San Luis Obispo and Atascadero incidents were totally disconnected events.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Muscari, who prosecuted the case, said the DA’s office plans to seek a second trial.
Anderson faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison for the three charges of which he has been convicted. Anderson has already served about two years in county jail.
He has remained in SLO County Jail since his May 2018 arrest. Anderson’s sentencing is scheduled for May 11.