Kobulnicky rape charges dropped

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Sexual assault and kidnapping charges were dismissed
Thursday against a former spokesman for the San Diego Tea Party, after a woman who
accused him of raping her on Fiesta Island recanted her story, prosecutors
said.

“When we receive new information that leads us to determine we can no
longer prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, we do the right thing and move
quickly to dismiss the charges,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Michael Kobulnicky, 50, was charged 10 days ago, after the woman claimed
he offered her a ride Feb. 25 in Linda Vista, then sexually assaulted her on
Fiesta Island.

In an unusual move, Judge Timothy Walsh ordered Kobulnicky's immediate
release from the downtown courthouse.

“I feel great, you guys,” Kobulnicky told reporters outside court.
“It's so great when you tell everybody from the beginning that you're
innocent, that you haven't done any crimes, and you're hoping your best friends
and your family will believe you, and there's definitely people who stuck by my
side.

“Over the past week, so much great evidence came out supporting that I
didn't commit any crimes,” he said.

“It's been hell,” Kobulnicky added. “It's been devastating to me, my
fiancee — I was supposed to get married in a week. I've lost my job. I got
fired from the San Diego Community College District. So I'm working to get my
job back. I'm shaken up completely. I just wanted to clear my name.”

Kobulnicky and his legal team refused to discuss details of the case.

Last Friday, Kobulnicky's attorneys said two acquaintances of the
alleged victim came forward and reported conversations in which the woman said
she was lying about the sexual assault.

The attorneys said Kobulnicky, of Lemon Grove, picked up the woman, who
was hitchhiking and the two had a consensual sexual encounter.

San Diego police said they conducted a thorough investigation after the
woman's rape claims, which included collection of evidence from the scene. The
physical evidence was consistent with, and corroborated the woman's claims,
according to prosecutors.

But on Wednesday, for the first time, the alleged victim recanted her
original statement and denied that she was kidnapped and forcibly raped by
anyone.

Outside court today, defense attorney Kerry Armstrong said the alleged
victim had zero credibility and was a chronic liar.

“I'm no psychologist, but I think she has some severe mental issues,”
Armstrong said. “As mad as I am at her, and as mad as Mr. Kobulnicky must be
at her, I'm at least glad that she came forward yesterday and finally told the
truth.”

Armstrong called the San Diego Police Department's investigation into
the alleged rape “pathetic.”

Kobulnicky would have faced a possible life sentence if convicted.

Categories: KUSI