18 year old pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges
In addition to allegedly killing a young Truckee man with his SUV in mid-August, 18-year-old Scott Lindner is accused of sexually assaulting two female minors in town.
On Friday in Nevada County Superior Court, one of the alleged victims, a 17-year-old Truckee girl, testified at a preliminary hearing that she believed Lindner would have raped her had she not fled his Chevrolet Tahoe on the night of Aug. 12.
Lindner faces charges on suspicion of assault to commit a felony sex offense, false imprisonment, attempted oral copulation, intimidation of a victim, battery and annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.
Lindner pleaded not guilty to the charges by the 17-year-old.
A preliminary hearing is used by a judge to decides whether there is enough evidence to force a defendant to stand trial. After listening to the 17-year-old girl, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, Judge Anders Holmer ruled that there was sufficient evidence for Lindner to be arraigned on Sept. 12.
Truckee Police Detective Robert Womack also testified that the other alleged sexual assault victim is a 13-year-old girl, referred to as “Jane Doe No. 2” by William Cornell, a Nevada County deputy district attorney.
Womack said he first interviewed Jane Doe No. 2 as a witness to the hit-and-run collision involving Lindner that killed Keith Stewart, 19, of Truckee at Truckee River Regional Park on Aug. 16.
Womack said the 13-year-old later told him she and Lindner had sexual relations on more than one occasion.
Friday’s hearing pertained to the allegations of sexual assault against Lindner and the 17-year-old girl, not in the case of the hit-and-run collision.
Lindner was in court accompanied by his defense attorney John Ward, from Tahoe City. Lindner’s family members as well as Stewart’s father, Lance Skupen, and Stewart’s brother, Paul Stewart, were also in attendance.
According to the alleged 17-year-old victim, she and Lindner had been in contact with each other prior to the night of the assault. Lindner had attended the girl’s birthday party in mid- July and she had gone home with him to his house in Lahontan on two or three occasions and had sexual relations, she said.
The girl told Womack in an earlier interview that she had not had sex with or dated Lindner. She later told the detective that she did have sex with him but “didn’t remember much of it” because she was allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
When asked by prosecutor Cornell, the girl said she couldn’t describe the house where she stayed with Lindner because she was allegedly heavily intoxicated every time.
On the evening of Aug. 12 with Lindner in the driver’s seat of his Chevy Tahoe, the girl in the front passenger seat and two male friends of the girl’s seated behind them, they parked near Truckee Pines apartments allegedly under the influence of marijuana, the girl said.
In the presence of her male friends, Lindner grabbed her head and held it near his waist, she said.
“I was fighting for a second,” she said.
Later in the night the two male friends left the vehicle and, according to the girl, she and Lindner had a conversation about the status of their relationship. The girl said Lindner became frustrated and more aggressive with her when she told him she didn’t want to be his girlfriend, and she became angry with him that he didn’t accept her answer.
“I felt stupid that I’m sitting in a car with a guy that doesn’t even know my last name,” she said.
Lindner started touching her face, chin and neck and tried to kiss her and pull her into the driver’s seat where he sat, she said. He started to unzip his pants and placed her hands on his lap, she said.
“He wanted to have sex with me, I just knew,” she said.
Ward asked if she believed Lindner was trying to rape her, and the girl said she thought that was what he had intended.
The girl said she pushed Lindner’s hands off her, unlocked the car door and ran most of the way home. Once there she said she called her best friend and one of the male friends who had been in the car with her earlier that night.
Her friend, 19, testified in court and said she received a phone call from the girl who was crying hysterically. The alleged victim “was shaky” and “standoffish at first” when she told the friend what had happened between her and Lindner in the car.
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