Alameda County

Man Gets Life in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Girl in Berkeley

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A five-time felon was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Berkeley last year.

Alphonzo McInnis, 28, of Berkeley, was convicted on July 22 of three counts of forcible rape of a minor and enhancements for aggravated kidnapping of a minor during the course of a sexual assault for attacking the girl in the 1500 block of Addison Street on the morning of April 19, 2018.

However, jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt on charges alleging that McInnis, who has a prior conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse, also attacked an 18-year-old University of California at Berkeley freshman in a separate case in the 2400 block of College Avenue in Berkeley at about 4:30 a.m. on April 28, 2018, nine days after the attack on the 15-year-old girl.

Alameda County prosecutor Nick Homer said in his closing argument in the trial that McInnis used a realistic-looking, all-black replica gun to instill fear in the 15-year-old girl and the 18-year-old UC Berkeley student.

Homer said that in the first CASE, McInnis, a former Berkeley High School student who has a girlfriend and three children, grabbed the 15-year-old girl as she walked to school, pressed what appeared to be a gun into her side and told her not to scream or look at him or he would shoot her.

McInnis then led the girl to the backyard of a nearby residence, where he groped her and repeatedly sexually assaulted her, Homer said.

Homer said that in the second case, McInnis walked around the area near a dormitory on College Avenue and appeared to be looking for someone he could take by surprise.

The prosecutor said the 18-year-old freshman had been talking with a friend at a dorm across the street and at 4:30 a.m. decided to walk one block across the street to get back to her own dorm room.

McInnis allegedly grabbed the young female student, put his arm around her head and pointed what appeared to be a gun to her head, but she managed to escape and get safely into her dorm after a struggle at the entrance to the building.

Homer said DNA evidence connects McInnis to both cases.

The prosecutor said when police recovered McInnis' weapon at his residence, it turned out to be a fake gun but it looked real enough that it frightened both alleged victims.

Defense lawyer Sydney Levin asked jurors to find McInnis not guilty because she thinks the prosecution didn't prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Levin also said the two alleged victims changed their stories over time.

McInnis was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse in Contra Costa County in 2008 and his most recent conviction was in Alameda County on Jan. 28, 2015, for second-degree robbery for robbing six gas stations on University Avenue in Berkeley.

In addition, McInnis has three other prior convictions in Contra Costa County: for second-degree burglary in 2011, possession of a firearm by a felon in 2013 and grand theft of a firearm in 2012.

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