SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A La Jolla restaurant owner accused of sexually assaulting four women over a nine-year period pleaded not guilty Monday to 14 felony charges, including assault with intent to commit a sex crime, sexual battery and intercourse with an unconscious person.
Daniel Dorado, the owner of Voce del Mare, an Italian-style restaurant located on La Jolla Boulevard in the Bird Rock area, faces 30 years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty.
Dorado, who has no prior record, was arrested last Wednesday in connection with assaults that allegedly happened in 2009, 2015, 2017 and this January, the prosecutor said.
Judge Maureen Hallahan ordered the 59-year-old defendant held on $900,000 bail.
"All of the victims told very similar stories," Flaherty said, without giving details.
The prosecutor said one of the alleged attacks occurred at the defendant's restaurant. She said San Diego police are following up on leads to see if there are any more alleged victims.
Defense attorney Dan Greene told reporters that Dorado was "completely stunned" by the charges against him.
"He's outraged by them," Greene said. "He's never drugged anyone. He's never raped anyone. He wants to be able to defend his good name."
Greene said Dorado has strong ties to San Diego but is originally from Los Angeles.
"He maintains his innocence," the attorney said of Dorado.
A bail review was set for Thursday and a status conference for next Monday.