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Woman in Efren Carrillo case tells of fearing for safety (w/video)

  • Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo listens to the testimony of the woman at the center of his criminal peeking trial at Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (CONNER JAY/ PD)

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo listened silently Tuesday as a Santa Rosa woman recounted a night of terror that ended when police arrested the half-naked politician outside her apartment.

The woman, identified in court only as Jane Doe, told her story in public for the first time in a Santa Rosa courtroom packed with observers who lined up to listen to testimony about the night that has left a blot on Carrillo's once promising career.

The woman was the first witness in Carrillo's trial, which opened Tuesday. Although the two lived in the same apartment complex, she testified she did not recognize her neighbor until a police officer shined a flashlight in his face.

Efren Carrillo Trial


“My heart sank into my stomach and I felt sick,” she said.

Carrillo, 33, is charged with peeking into a door or window — a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. He has pleaded not guilty.

The 5th District supervisor told police that he went to the woman's apartment in his socks and underwear before dawn on July 13 to ask her to have a beer.

Prosecutors suggested his motives were much darker than a social visit. They pointed to his state of undress and a torn bedroom window screen as evidence Carrillo was trying to get into the apartment.

The woman's testimony supported the version. She said she had been asleep more than an hour when she was awakened about 3:40 a.m. by noises at her open window.

She described a “tearing, ripping sound” followed by “rustling” window blinds.

She jumped up, grabbed her phone and ran into the living room of her small apartment, where two girlfriends were asleep on air mattresses.

The woman then peered through a window and saw a man stripped to his waist with his hands on his hips, staring out at nearby Brockhurst Drive.

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