San Mateo man arrested in connection with sexual assault of legally blind woman in Cupertino

Photos courtesy of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office

A San Mateo man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a legally blind woman in Cupertino in May.

Bernard Mejia-Ortiz, 29, was arrested by San Mateo police on a $40,000 warrant and booked into jail on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment in connection with the attack on the woman, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

The attack occurred May 5, when the victim was walking to work in the area of Stevens Creek Boulevard and North Stelling Road in Cupertino, the Sheriff’s Office said. The suspect approached the woman as she was walking and “made verbal flirtatious advances towards her,” the Sheriff’s Office said. The victim politely declined and continued walking to her work. But the suspect apparently followed the woman and approached her again at an outdoor parking lot in broad daylight. He “held the legally victim against her will and sexually assaulted her,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

“After being approached by a witness, the suspect immediately ran away on foot through the parking lot and later fled in his vehicle,” official said.

Detectives received multiple tips from the public since publicly reporting the crime and identified the suspect’s vehicle, found to be owned by Mejia-Ortiz.

“The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community and our local media partners for their collective efforts, which led to the identification of Mejia-Ortiz,” officials said. “We would also like to thank the San Mateo Police Department for their collaborative efforts in apprehending him into custody.”