March 29, 2012 (San Diego)—Michael Kobulnicky, a Lemon Grove resident and former spokesman for the San Diego Tea Party, is a free man after the District Attorney dropped all charges. Kobulnicky had been accused of kidnapping a woman, then sexually assaulting her at Fiesta Island.
“It’s been hell,” Kobulnicky, a former teacher, coach and landcsaper, said, ECM news partner 10 News reports. “It’s been devastating to me, my fiancée—I was supposed to get married in a week.” He further stated that he lost his job at San Diego Community College and hopes to get his job back. “I just wanted to clear my name.”
Last week, the alleged victim stood up in court and told the judge that Kobulnicky was not the man who assaulted her and police had arrested the wrong man. But on Wednesday, ECM news partner 10 News reports, she woman recanted her original complaint and denied that she was kidnapped or raped.
Last Friday, Kobulnicky’s lawyers said acquaintances of the woman had come forward and said the admitted to lying about the assault.
Kobulnicky’s attorneys said he did pick up the woman, who was hitchhiking, but that the two had a consensual sexual tryst, according to 10 News and the Union-Tribune. But after charges were dropped, he now says no sexual relationship occurred, the Union-Tribune reports.
San Diego Police had said the physical evidence was consistent with the charges.
Today, however, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis issued a statement indicating that her office “is dedicated to the protection of the innocent as much as we are committed to holding criminals accountable for their crimes. When we receive new information that leads us to determine we can no longer prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, we do the right thing and move quickly to dismiss the charges.”
The San Diego Tea Party today issued a statement indicating the organization is pleased that charges were dropped.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of defense attorneys Heather Melone and Kerry Armstrong, Michael is now rightfully exonerated, and the justice system has clearly worked,” the statement said, adding, “Three weeks is a long time for an innocent person to be in pretrial custody. The unfortunate consequence of this situation is that it will be difficult for Michael to restore his honor, his reputation, and his personal life back to their original condition before this devastating accusation.”
San Diego Tea Party criticized media for coverage of the story and concluded, “We pray, Michael will be able to rebuild his life and restore his relationship with his fiancé and his children.”