Sexual Assault Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Michael Kobulnicky, 50, is accused of a Feb. 25 abduction and sexual assault of a 56-year-old woman

By Mari Payton, Sarah Grieco and Monica Garske
|  Sunday, Apr 1, 2012  |  Updated 8:26 PM PDT
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Sexual Assault Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

San Diego Police

This is the image released of the suspect in the sex assault - the man wore beige cargo shorts, flip flops, a light-colored shirt and a dark pullover type jacket.

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A former Tea Party activist plead not guilty for charges that he sexually assaulted a woman on Fiesta Island.

Michael Kobulnicky, 50, is accused of a Feb. 25 abduction and sexual assault of a 56-year-old woman who was walking home near Linda Vista Road in Fiesta Island. Police said he pulled over to offer her a ride home, but instead of actually taking her home he drove her to Fiesta Island where he sexually assaulted her in the car. She was then left on the island, police said.

Ed. Note: Charges against Kobulnicky have since been dropped. Click here for an update to this story.

Kobulnicky was arrested on March 15 in front of his home after surveillance video from the assault gave police enough evidence to pursue him.

Prosecutors said Kobulnicky is a danger to the community, but his attorney maintained he's been wrongly accused. Kobulnicky's attorney called her client "an upstanding member of the community," and said he has no criminal history.

“He has been very active in his community, his church he organized volunteers to help women with generate hope,” said defense attorney Heather Malone. “He organized a 50 plus volunteer group to go the generate hope facility which is a long term facility for women who are sexually exploited.”

He used to be a spokesperson for the San Diego Tea Party. A statement from the organization said he took a hiatus in January for personal reasons.

At the time of his arrest, Kobulnicky was working as a landscaper. He is due back in court on Mar. 26. If convicted of four felony charges -- including kidnapping for rape and forcible rape -- he faces life in prison.

His bail is currently set at $500,000.

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