Accused serial groper pleads not guilty
CHULA VISTA (CNS) – A South Bay man suspected of carrying out a four- month spree of groping assaults on female pedestrians pleaded not guilty to unrelated charges Friday and was ordered jailed without bail.
Miguel Angel Malacara, 25, denied three domestic violence allegations during a hearing at the South Bay Courthouse.
Police have yet to file evidence involving the alleged groping series with the District Attorney's Office, which will decide what charges to bring, if any. It was unclear when that submission might occur.
Witness statements and DNA evidence allegedly tie Malacara, who was arrested at his girlfriend's house Wednesday night, to the sexual batteries of women and teenage girls on various public streets in Chula Vista.
During the groping series, which began in September and continued until late last month, the perpetrator grabbed and fondled at least 16 female pedestrians, according to police.
On Jan. 28, before being identified as a suspect in the assaults, Malacara, a Chula Vista resident, allegedly was involved in a domestic violence incident during which the victim sustained moderate injuries, Capt. Gary Wedge said.
Last Friday, he was accused of a similar assault on a woman, and later that day, DNA collected during the groping investigation allegedly implicated him in that long-running case, according to Wedge.
During his arraignment this afternoon, Malacara pleaded not guilty to two felony counts and a misdemeanor. He would face upwards of five years in prison if convicted of all three domestic-assault charges.
Judge Roderick Shelton ordered the defendant held without bail due an alleged probation violation.