DNA puts alleged rapist at scene

ENCINITAS — A 30-year-old man accused of raping a woman outside of a popular Encinitas bar had the victim’s DNA on his bloody T-shirt and body, testified a San Diego Sheriff’s criminalist.
The woman’s DNA was located in a bloodstain on Daniel Ernadas Diaz white tank top, as well as on his genitals, Criminalist Lauren Sautkulis said. However, none of Diaz’s semen was found on the victim.
Diaz, 30, is charged with a single felony count each of forcible rape, assault to commit rape, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats. If convicted, he faces up to 21 years in prison, according to court records.
While Sautkulis’ testimony establishes that a physical incident occurred between Diaz and Melissa A., whose name has been withheld to protect her identity, on the evening of April 28, 2007, it doesn’t rule out Diaz’s story. Diaz said the intoxicated woman propositioned him for sex, but after some intimate touching her demeanor changed and she angrily kicked him out of her vehicle. Diaz told police, who found him in an apartment complex near the parking lot where the incident occurred, he panicked and fled the scene because he was on parole at the time.
The defendant told police Melissa A. said she would have sex with him for $200, which he paid. He said she may have received the injuries when she fell as they were walking through the parking lot. The victim denied Diaz’s allegations and no money was ever found.
Melissa A., who had a .32 blood alcohol level when tested by deputies an hour after the incident, told authorities several versions of how she was contacted by the defendant in the parking lot as she walked to her ex-fiancé’s truck in the parking lot north of D Street Bar and Grill. However, in each version she said he pushed her into the four-door truck, choked her causing her to vomit and then punched and raped her. She also told police Diaz had threatened her life during the attack.
Deputies said when they contacted Melissa A. immediately following the incident she was naked except for a sweater and she had a cut under her left eye, a bloody face and shirt, and her breath reeked of vomit and alcohol.
Diaz, who remains in jail on $500,000 bail, has a strike for a 2003 robbery conviction in San Diego County.

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