The victim is now back in Germany and did not testify in the preliminary hearing of Jacob Paul Skorniak, 50, but what she told San Diego Police officers about the incident was discussed in court.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian set a trial date for April 7, 2017. Skorniak pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains in jail on $1 million bail.
Deputy District Attorney Lisa Fox said Skorniak faces a life sentence in prison if he’s convicted of rape and kidnapping for rape.
Police officers testified the 21-year-old victim went with some friends to a bar in Mission Beach and later to another bar in Pacific Beach on Dec. 31, 2015. The victim became ill from intoxication and decided to go home to her apartment via an Uber driver.
The victim got out of the Uber car and threw up on the ground. Skorniak was nearby after the Uber driver left and he abducted her at knifepoint. She told officers Skorniak drove her to a rural area and sexually assaulted her in his red pickup truck.
Skorniak used a knife to cut some of her clothes off while she begged him to stop, according to what she told detective Rich Forsey.
During the assault, her cell phone was touched and her father in Germany was called. He recognized her voice and heard her say “take what you want—leave me alive,” according to detective Rich Forsey. Her father heard sounds of crying and the call went dead.
Her father called German police, who then called San Diego Police. Officers went to her apartment on Sapphire Street to look for her. Skorniak agreed to take the victim home, and used some type of GPS system to locate her street.
Officer Geoffrey Kaiser testified the victim said Skorniak slapped her when he had difficulty locating her street. The victim said Skorniak told her had just got out of prison and did not want to go back. Kaiser said Skorniak told her he thought about jumping off a bridge.
As Skorniak got on Sapphire Street, he turned around when he saw police cars on her block. He dropped her off several blocks away in Pacific Beach. Her passport was found by someone on Bayard Street.
She walked to her apartment, disheveled and crying, according to Forsey. She agreed to a rape exam. Attorneys stipulated to the results by noting Skorniak was linked to the assault by DNA evidence without calling laboratory workers as witnesses.
Skorniak purchased some gasoline for his truck at 3:09 a.m., according to a Clairemont service station’s security video. Police were able to determine who the attacker was and released his photo and pictures of his 1995 Dodge Ram pickup. He was arrested in a Santa Barbara campground on Jan. 21.
Forsey testified officers found the victim’s torn underwear in a driver door’s pocket. A pocket knife was found and a cell phone that contained video of the victim being assaulted in the truck, said Forsey.
The victim had been attending San Diego State University, but she went back to Germany after the attack. Skorniak has a prior record for robbery and burglary.