Landscaper accused of raping woman on Fiesta Island pleads not guilty to felony charges

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A landscaper accused of abducting a pedestrian in
Linda Vista and taking her to Fiesta Island, where he allegedly raped her,
pleaded not guilty Monday to four felony sexual assault charges.

Michael John Kobulnicky, who was arrested last Thursday as he was
walking near his Lemon Grove apartment, faces life in prison if convicted of
one count each of kidnapping for rape and forcible rape and two counts of
forcible rape with a foreign object.

Kobulnicky 50, was ordered held on $500,000 bail. Deputy District Attorney
Renee Palermo unsuccessfully asked Judge David Szumowski to double the amount,
calling the defendant a danger to the public.

Kobulnicky allegedly spotted the woman about 7 p.m. Feb. 25 while
driving on Linda Vista Road, pulled over and asked her if she wanted a ride
home, SDPD Lt. Anastasia Smith said.

The 56-year-old woman accepted the offer and got into Kobulnicky's
vehicle, Smith said. When they reached her residence, however, he kept driving
and continued into the Mission Bay area, according to the lieutenant.

After parking on Fiesta Island, the 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound suspect
allegedly pulled the victim out of the vehicle and sexually assaulted her. He
then drove off, leaving her behind.

The woman immediately reported the alleged crimes, and investigators
gathered evidence, including surveillance video. Six days later, detectives
released some of the footage to local news outlets, and the resulting publicity
generated “numerous” tips that helped detectives identify Kobulnicky as the
alleged assailant, Smith said.

A status conference was set for March 26 and a preliminary hearing for
April 3.

Categories: KUSI