Suspected Loma Portal rapist to undergo mental competency examination
by Neal Putnam
Published - 06/12/13 - 02:45 PM | 2785 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Criminal proceedings were suspended for a man suspected of kidnapping and raping a woman in Loma Portal after his attorney told a judge he doubted his client was mentally competent to understand the charges.

Michael Meretse Tesfa, 21, will be examined in jail on July 30 by a psychologist or psychiatrist, who will write a report for a judge ahead of an Aug. 23 hearing. If the judge finds Tesfa is mentally incompetent, the defendant would likely be committed to a state mental hospital for treatment.

If the judge finds Tesfa is competent, a new preliminary hearing will be set in San Diego Superior Court. Tesfa has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include robbery and false imprisonment in the March 18 incident.

The victim told police she met Tesfa earlier that night and he asked her to go to a hotel with him, but she declined.

Shortly before 9 p.m., Tesfa is alleged to have sexually assaulted her behind a closed restaurant on Pacific Highway near Rosecrans Street.

Tesfa is on probation for punching his mother in the face on Jan. 2, 2012, according to records.

He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and reportedly will now have his probation revoked.

Testa remains in custody on $750,000 bail.
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