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Man Accused In Sexual Assaults Held For Court

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A California man was in court in Pittsburgh today to face charges of sexual assault.

Akaninyene Akan, 29, was held for court on all charges in the September 2010 incident.

Authorities say he was working in Pittsburgh at the time of the attacks.

Police linked him to the crimes through DNA from a cigarette butt he tossed out while being interviewed by police.

Today in court, one victim described the alleged assault, saying the suspect spit in her mouth and forced her to swallow.

"From the very beginning, my client has steadfastly denied any involvement in these charges," said Gary Gerson, the defense attorney. "He is presumed innocent, he will remain innocent until he is found guilty after a trial by a judge or jury."

During the graphic testimony, Akan was told by the judge not to look at he victim. He looked straight ahead.

"This hearing today was an opportunity for the prosecution to put forth their theory of the case. My ability to probe that theory is fairly limited at this proceeding," said Gerson. "We intend to review the evidence. We'll have our experts review their evidence and we intend to put on a very vigorous defense at the time of trial."

Akan's attorney says his client didn't leave the area because of the pending charges. He says his client is an engineer and left because of employment.

However, for now, he'll be staying in the Allegheny County Jail.

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