Attorneys for a La Mesa man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman on Fiesta Island, said Friday that their client claims the two adults had a consensual sexual encounter.
Michael Kobulnicky, 51, faces charges that he kidnapped a 56-year-old woman from Linda Vista and assaulted her on Fiesta Island on on Saturday, Feb 25.
Attorneys for the former Tea Party spokesperson and Mormon Church leader revealed Friday what their client said really happened on the day in question.
Kobulnicky's lawyers made a lot of claims about the victim, questioning her credibility, after two of her acquaintances contacted their law office.
But since NBCSanDiego has yet to confirm those allegations we are not going to publish them.
Kobulnicky said the woman was hitch-hiking when he picked her up in his car and at that point they had a "consensual sexual encounter" his attorneys said Friday.
Kobulnicky said he left the woman at Fiesta Island at her request because it was near her home.
Defense attorneys said they feel these newly-recorded witness interviews will exonerate their client.
"We believe that the court of public opinion has already convicted Mr. Kobulnicky of these charges without due process in court," said Heather Melone. "We wanted to make available the information that we have learned of in the past few days."
The defense team plans to have the new witnesses re-interviewed by a district attorney investigator.
NBCSanDiego received a statement from the San Diego County District Attorney's office Friday saying that they only file charges when they believe they can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
San Diego police released images from a store surveillance camera of the man believed to be involved in the abduction and sexual assault.
Those images led to Kobulnicky’s arrest on March 15.
At one time, Kobulnicky served as a spokesperson for the San Diego Tea Party. His political website was still active Tuesday.
A statement from the San Diego Tea Party said Kobulnicky has been on hiatus since January for personal reasons and has been relieved from his Tea Party duties during legal proceedings.
Kobulnicky is due back in court March 26. He’s being held on $500,000 bond.
Ed. Note: Charges against Kobulnicky have since been dropped. Click here for an update to this story.