Prosecutor: Police used DNA from bite to tie suspect to gropings - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Prosecutor: Police used DNA from bite to tie suspect to groping series

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - Police used DNA from the jeans of a woman bitten in the buttocks to tie a suspect to a four-month string of groping assaults on female pedestrians, a prosecutor said Friday.

The woman was bitten through her clothing, and investigators were able to extract enough DNA to match a sample provided by Miguel Angel Malacara after he was sentenced on a drug trafficking conviction in December 2009, said Deputy District Attorney Enrique Camarena.

"The Chula Vista police reported that one of the victims was bitten on the jeans, and that's where the DNA was collected," Camarena said.

Witness statements also allegedly connect Malacara, 25, to the groping series, police said.

Investigators have not yet submitted evidence in the groping case to the District Attorney's Office, which will determine which charges will be filed, if any. It was unclear when the submission would occur.

Malacara appeared at the South Bay Courthouse today on charges stemming from a pair of unrelated domestic violence incidents, which the prosecutor said was a coincidence of timing.

The Chula Vista resident was arrested Wednesday night in connection with an alleged domestic battery on a woman last Friday.

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, CVPD Capt. Gary Wedge said.

According to court records, he allegedly assaulted the woman with an electrical cord.

"Mr. Malacara is facing five years (in prison) on this case and an additional eight months on his probation case, Camarena said.

During the groping series, which began in September and continued until late last month, the perpetrator grabbed and fondled at least 16 female pedestrians -- both women and teenage girls -- on various public streets near Broadway in Chula Vista, according to police. Camarena put the number at 14.

During his arraignment Friday afternoon, Malacara pleaded not guilty to two felony counts and a misdemeanor.

Judge Roderick Shelton ordered the defendant held without bail due an alleged probation violation, and scheduled a readiness conference for March 7.

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