A man who allegedly raped a woman at a home in West Falls Church and threatened her with a machete is now facing felony charges, including rape and abduction.
An Annandale woman testified in a preliminary hearing in Fairfax County General District Court on Monday (Aug. 30) that she thought she was going to die the night that she says Juan Pablo Guzman-Gonzalez, 51, sexually assaulted her.
During the encounter, which took place on Dec. 1 and 2, 2020, she closed her eyes and told the man to think about her daughter, the woman said in court in Spanish, speaking through an interpreter.
The alleged rape occurred after Guzman-Gonzalez was arrested and arraigned for a separate Aug. 30, 2020 incident involving the same woman.
A judge found probable cause on the felony charges for rape, strangulation, and two abduction counts, one each for the August and December incidents. The case will now go before a grand jury, which will determine whether to formally indict Guzman-Gonzalez.
An attorney for the Commonwealth said the state isn’t looking to prosecute misdemeanor charges.
In August at his West Falls Church home, Guzman-Gonzalez and the woman got into an argument and he bit her hand, which was holding her keys. He also took away her phone and punched her in the stomach, she testified.
Gonzalez told police it was only a verbal argument with no physical contact between them, according to a police report.
The woman said in court that she then barricaded herself and her daughter, who was in the home at the time, in a vacant room and used a chair to block the door. She said Guzman-Gonzalez tried using an electric saw to get into the room. According to police, he was cutting a hole in the door to open it.
“My daughter was terrorized,” she said, adding that she told her daughter to call 911.
Court records listed addresses in West Falls Church and Centreville for Guzman-Gonzalez, which also said he lives with his wife, but the Annandale woman described having an on-again, off-again relationship with him that included vacationing together and text message exchanges before she filed a police report on Dec. 8.
“He asked her to come over and she trusted him that he was sorry,” the police report said of the December meeting. “He convinced her things would be better. She asked him if he would hit her again and he said no.”
However, when they met at his West Falls Church residence, Guzman-Gonzalez instead started choking the woman, squeezing her neck to the point she had difficulty speaking, and calling her offensive words, she said at Monday’s hearing.
She tried to leave and even attempted to run toward a kitchen door when he was in the bathroom, according to the police report.
Stephen Sheehy, the defendant’s attorney, said yesterday (Tuesday) that he did not want to comment on the charges.
It’s going to be a cold and rainy weekend in Fairfax County, thanks to Tropical Storm Ophelia. Tracking to make landfall in North Carolina today (Friday), the storm is expected to reach Northern Virginia tonight.
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