General Crime

* Alex Thomas Owen Charged in San Francisco Sexual Assault of Exchange Student

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Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a San Francisco man with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a female foreign exchange student from Korea whom he met as she was sightseeing Friday on Treasure Island. Alex Thomas Owen, 41, a convicted sex offender, pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment this morning in San Francisco Superior Court and was ordered held on $1 million bail. He also received a court order to stay away from the alleged victim.  According to police, the 21-year-old woman is going to school in Washington state and had been visiting California.  Prosecutor Michael Swart said today the woman told police she went to Treasure Island Friday to take photos of the sunset, and was approached by Owen as she was waiting at a bus stop to leave. He then offered her a ride to San Francisco, and gave her some identification, including his social security card, in order to gain her confidence, according to Swart.  “He said, ‘You can trust me, I’ll give you these, you can hold on to them,'” Swart said. Owen drove the woman to San Francisco in his 1993 Lincoln Town Car, according to police.  Swart said they stopped to visit Coit Tower, and Owen then brought her to Twin Peaks, where he allegedly forced her to orally copulate him, and then punched her and pulled her hair out. The woman told police she escaped out of Owen’s moving car at 25 mph, according to Swart.  The woman kept Owen’s ID cards, one of which contained his home address, located in the Ashbury Heights neighborhood, and police arrested him
there at 8:30 a.m. the next morning, according to Swart.  Owen has a previous conviction in 1994 in San Mateo County for
lewd acts with a child under age 14, for which he received five years probation, Swart said. He then violated his probation in 1996 and spent six years in state prison.
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