KXAN Austin

Jury convicts Austin man who pulled knife, sexually assaulted employee

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Travis County jury has convicted a transient of pulling a knife on a woman and sexually assaulting her as she was opening a business for the day.

Derek Grinstead, 33 was found guilty of an aggravated sexual assault that happened on the morning of Oct. 22, 2018.

The victim had just gotten to work and was setting up at a tanning salon in the Southpark Meadows Shopping Center when Grinstead went inside and pulled a knife out of his pocket.

He commanded her to go inside a room where he sexually assaulted her.

As soon as he left, the victim called 911.

Officers were nearby and found Grinstead in the area with a knife in his pocket that matched the description provided by the victim.

Surveilance footage captured the incident on camera and the victim also recognized him as the suspect. His DNA also matched evidence that was collected.

“This is an offense that is not only criminal, but one that takes away part of someone’s humanity,” said Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Richards during closing arguments.

“We admire the courage and strength it took for the victim to relive the trauma and face her attacker and we thank the jury for their attentiveness to the evidence and their just verdict,” Co-counsel Geoffrey Puryear added.

Judge Julie Kocurek in the 390th District Court will sentence Grinstead on Nov. 8, 2019.