Trial Pushed to October for San Mateo Police Officer Accused of Sexually Assaulting Five Women

More than three months after a former San Mateo police officer accused of sexually assaulting five women received a new court-appointed defense attorney, his April 30 jury trial date was delayed Monday to Oct. 9 to provide additional legal preparation time, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

The jury date for Noah Winchester, 33, was delayed close to three months ago when Paul DeMeester, who has been appointed by the court to his case, replaced attorney Michael Rains as his defense attorney Oct. 20. Though Rains previously represented police officers accused of misconduct, he allegedly could not be retained for Winchester’s case after the Peace Officers Research Association of California said it could no longer pay for his services, according to prosecutors.

DeMeester noted the high volume of information connected to the case, which he said could be thought of as five cases wrapped into one, and added he needs some additional time to get up to speed since he wasn’t involved with it from the start.

“There’s a lot of data points and then we have a lot of interviews,” he said, adding that preparing transcripts and checking the backgrounds of witnesses are among the many steps ahead of him as he reviews the evidence. “So that always sort of multiplies the number of things to do.”

Winchester, of Stockton, could face life behind bars if convicted of the 19 felonies alleging he sexually assaulted five women between July 2013 and October 2015, according to prosecutors. Winchester was employed by the San Mateo Police Department when he allegedly raped three female victims in San Mateo in 2015; and was employed by the Los Rios Community College Police Department when he reportedly abused two victims in Sacramento in 2013, according to prosecutors.

Several of the victims were also kidnapped and threatened, with some indicating they feared reporting the assaults as Winchester was a cop, according to prosecutors.

Winchester remains in custody on $3.1 million bail and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Shortly after the allegations came to light, Winchester was fired from the San Mateo Police Department.