The trial for the man accused of a brazen sexual assault in a Big Lots bathroom closed Wednesday as the defendant argued he had no recollection of the alleged attack.
Gregory Phillip Schwartz, 41, said he was drunk and high on meth and had been up for several days at the time of the alleged assault. He said, though, that he does not remember much of what he heard from others’ testimonies.
“I start hallucinating when I’ve been up that long…from sleep deprivation and the drug,” Schwartz said in court Wednesday. “I was out of my mind.”
Schwartz is charged with multiple felonies, including assault with intent to commit rape, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and false imprisonment by violence in the February assault. He is also charged with shoplifting the dress he donned during the attack – a pink Barbie cheerleader costume.
The victim, who testified under her first name only at the beginning of the trial, said she entered the bathroom inside a Clairemont Big Lots while talking on the phone. She said she went into a stall and was getting ready to take a seat when she caught the sight of a man’s bare feet on the ground in the stall next to her.
The man then climbed up on the toilet and peered over the stall at her before getting down on all fours and crawling into her stall to attack her, she said. She alleged that the defendant grabbed her, held her by her neck and attempted to sexually assault her.
Schwartz, however, said he only remembers waking up to a screaming woman in the adjoining stall. He said he had gone into the men’s restroom to masturbate after hours of drinking in an attempt to come down off the meth and sleep. He did not know at the time that he had fallen asleep for two hours before switching to the women’s restroom.
“I remember waking up on the floor and a woman had her hands over her ears and she was screaming,” he said in court. “I was half in my stall and half encroaching on hers.”
The defendant said he does not remember peeking over the stall; only that the screaming sobered him up.
“I went back into my stall and she continued to scream for ten more seconds and I waited for her to go out,” he said.
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