Man Accused of Groping Women in Nob Hill Cleared by Alibi

A dishwasher accused of groping women in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood had his charges dismissed when attorneys with the city public defender’s office proved he was working at the time of the assaults, the public defender’s office said today.

Victor Vasquez-Cid, 40, had been in jail nearly four months before prosecutors dismissed the charges on July 2 once the new evidence was brought to their attention, public defender’s officials said.

A total of 17 women reported being grabbed during the evening hours over the prior six months. Police issued a sketch of the suspect and arrested Vasquez-Cid on March 11 as he was loitering after hours in Collis P. Huntington Park.

According to the public defender’s office, two of the victims picked Vasquez-Cid out of a photo lineup and a third narrowed down a lineup to three possible suspects, including Vasquez-Cid.

But public defender’s Investigator Hector Flores contacted the restaurant where Vasquez-Cid worked and discovered he was working at the time of two of the assaults.

Vasquez-Cid worked more than a mile away, clocked in and out using a fingerprint and his supervisor said there was no way he could have slipped away at the time of the assaults, according to the public defender’s office.

“Mr. Vasquez-Cid had an impeccable alibi,” Deputy Public Defender Sangeeta Singha said in a statement. “His case demonstrates the fallibility of eyewitness identification.”

If convicted, Vasquez-Cid could have faced more than 13 years in prison and would have been required to register as a sex offender for life, but is now a free man.

“Police were aware that Mr. Vasquez-Cid worked as a dishwasher, but never followed up to see if he was working at the time of the crimes,” Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in a statement. “Fortunately, Mr. Vasquez-Cid’s defense team gathered the evidence that police overlooked.”

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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