An alleged serial groper, who police say is responsible for at least 14 groping attacks in Chula Vista, pleaded not guilty Friday to felony charges stemming from an unrelated domestic-violence incident.
Miguel Angel Malacara, 25, of Chula Vista was arrested Wednesday night at the apartment he shares with his girlfriend and their young daughter.
“I think it's a big mistake. I don’t think it's him at all,” said his girlfriend about the recent groping attacks. “I know he wouldn't touch other girls, he has a little girl himself. I don't think he would ever go that low.”
Malacara was identified using DNA evidence and victim's statements, according to detectives. Police collected his DNA after a separate domestic violence incident at his home where the victim was injured.
Police said Malacara has been in trouble with the law before. He was arrested for driving under the influence and selling cocaine in 2009 and recently involved in two domestic violence incidents with his girlfriend. It is NBC San Diego’s policy not to publish names of alleged domestic violence victims.
Malacara’s girlfriend admits they've had problems in their 5-year relationship, but they were trying to work on their family.
“I know for a fact he wouldn't do that. He loves his daughter and he has little sisters and I know he wouldn't go around and touch women. They are probably confusing him with someone else or something. I don't think he would do that,” she said.
All of the attacks happened in broad daylight along the Broadway-Fourth Avenue corridor. The victims range in age from 15 to 40. In almost every case the suspect attacked the victims by grabbing at them and then running.
“We do have one instance where he actually bit the victim and then ran," said Lt. Phil Collum.
Judge Roderick Shelton ordered Malacara held without bail due to an alleged probation violation.