A San Mateo man accused of burglarizing several homes, grabbing men’s genitals, and making victims “spank or hug him” has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Thursday (January 5).
Ismael Espinoza-Vazquez, 24, allegedly broke into five homes and stole victims’ property, Wagstaffe said in a summary.
“In two of the burglaries, the victims were home,” and Espinoza-Vazquez grabbed their genitals and made them spank him or give him a hug, according to Wagstaffe. He indicated the incidents occurred Sunday, January 2.
In June, Wagstaffe said, Espinoza-Vazquez entered a 24-Hour Fitness gym in San Mateo, grabbed a man who was drying off after showering, “held his genitals,” and left. (The DA confirmed in an email that all the victims are men.)
Additionally, in July 2015, Espinoza-Vazquez burglarized a car and stole $2,200 worth of property, Wagstaffe said.
At his arraignment Wednesday, January 4, Espinoza-Vazquez pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree burglary, attempted first-degree burglary, sexual battery, and battery of a peace officer. He’s currently in custody on $300,000 bail at Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.
San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Hugo Borja appointed the county’s Private Defender Program to represent him, but an attorney hasn’t been assigned.
A preliminary hearing, where a judge will decide whether there’s enough evidence to hold Espinoza-Vazquez for trial, is set for January 17.