A 23-year-old grocery store employee faces jail time and must register as a sex offender after reaching a plea deal in San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday for assaulting a female co-worker in a store freezer in January.Esgar Rudy Gonzalez would have faced up to 10 years in prison had he gone to trial and been convicted for the Jan. 18 attack at the South San Francisco market where he and the woman worked, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.By pleading no contest to felony attempted sexual battery, he avoided prison time. The day of the attack, the woman entered the walk-in freezer to put her lunch away and Gonzalez suddenly closed and locked the door behind her, Wagstaffe said.Gonzalez kept her locked in the freezer for about two minutes, then opened the door and went inside, Wagstaffe said. She tried to push past him but he blocked her path, pushed her onto some boxes and tried to remove her clothes, he said.Another co-worker reportedly saw the struggle and shouted for Gonzalez to stop, Wagstaffe said. Gonzalez left the area but was arrested after the victim reported the attack to police.Gonzalez initially pleaded not guilty to one count of assault with attempt to commit rape, one count of sexual battery, one count of false imprisonment and one count of felony assault, Wagstaffe said.He changed his plea during a pretrial conference Tuesday. Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced April 15. He remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.
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