San Jose

Suspect's Plea in March San Jose Train Station Attack Delayed Till August

Public defender is granted for more time to determine competency; next court date is Aug. 2

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A San Francisco man charged with a hate crime in a March 10 sexual assault of an Asian woman at Diridon Station in San Jose had his scheduled court appearance Tuesday pushed back to August.

Defendant Johan Strydom was not in court himself, but his attorney appeared and was granted more time to determine Strydom's competency to stand trial.

Strydom, 32, faces two assault charges, with hate crime enhancements, after prosecutors say he grabbed the 26-year-old woman by her neck inside a pedestrian tunnel, flung her on her back to the cement and said, "(Expletive) you, Asians." He proceeded to toss her side to side by her hair and drag her along the ground, according to police.

The attack, at about 7 a.m. on a Wednesday, lasted for about a minute until the victim's boyfriend, who had been on the phone with her, showed up and with other witnesses came to the woman's aid and detained Strydom.

At Strydom's arraignment days after the attack, Santa Clara County prosecutor Jing-Lan Lee read a statement from the victim: "It's frightening to have the constant fear of walking through those tunnels, the constant feeling of me possibly getting followed and possibly attacked again. No one should have to go through what I went through."

Strydom has been charged with sexual assault and assault with intent to do bodily harm, with hate crime enhancements. If convicted, he faces prison time.

 Strydom is being held without bail, and his next scheduled court date is Aug. 2.

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