Girlfriend of suspected Chula Vista serial groper defends him - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Girlfriend of suspected Chula Vista serial groper defends him

CHULA VISTA (CNS/News 8) - A man believed responsible for a five-month spree of groping assaults on women and teenage girls in Chula Vista was behind bars Thursday, police reported.

Witness statements and DNA evidence allegedly tie 25-year-old Chula Vista resident Miguel Angel Malacara -- who was arrested at his girlfriend's house Wednesday night -- to a sexual battery series that began in September and continued until late last month, CVPD Capt. Gary Wedge said.

Thursday night, Malacara's girlfriend defended him.

"I think it's a big mistake. I don't think it's him at all," she told News 8.

"I know for a fact that he wouldn't do that," she added. "He loves his daughter, and he has little sisters, and I know he would never go and touch women. They're probably confusing him with somebody else or something."

According to investigators, the perpetrator grabbed and fondled at least 14 female pedestrians as the victims walked along public streets in the South Bay city.

On Jan. 28, before being identified as a suspect in the assaults, Malacara allegedly was involved in a domestic violence incident during which the victim sustained moderate injuries, the captain said.

Last Friday, he was accused of another domestic assault, and later that day, DNA collected during the groping investigation allegedly implicated him in the long-running case.

"At this point, we believe (Malacara) is responsible for most - if not all - of the 14 sexual batteries that occurred over the last 6 months in our city," Chula Vista police chief David Bejarano said.

The suspect was being held on no bail, according to Bejarano, pending arraignment Friday afternoon.



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