SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man arrested and accused of being the so-called “Nob Hill Groper” in San Francisco was cleared of all charges it was determined he had been at work during times police said he was committing sexual assaults.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office announced Tuesday prosecutors have dismissed the sexual assault case against 40-year-old Victor Vasquez-Cid on July 2.
Vasquez-Cid had been in jail since his arrest on March 11. The arrest was based on photo lineup identifications from two out of 17 assault victims, the public defender’s office said, with a third victim narrowing her choices to three possible suspects, including Vasquez-Cid.
In cases dating back to last August, women in the Nob Hill area have reported a man coming up from behind to grope their breasts, buttocks or genitals.
Police have previously issued warnings about the attacks in the Nob Hill neighborhood. In November, police released a sketch of the suspect.
After his Vasquez-Cid’s arrest, an investigator was able to obtain his electronic work records from his employer where he worked as a dishwasher.
“The records proved Mr. Vasquez was at work more than a mile away during two of the three incidents,” Deputy Public Defender Sangeeta Sinha said in a statement.
“Police were aware that Mr. Vasquez-Cid worked as a dishwasher, but they never followed up to see if he was working at the time of the crimes,” Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in a statement.
Before dismissing the charges, prosecutors charged Vasquez-Cid with sexual assault, assault with intent to commit rape, and false imprisonment – all felonies – along with two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.
He was facing more than 13 years in prison and designation as a registered sex offender, according to Sinha.