Bernal Heights labyrinth stalker convicted

A judge ruled Tuesday that inviting a woman to the Bernal Heights labyrinth for a “cleansing ceremony” – particularly after you have stalked her for nearly a decade – is criminally creepy.

On Tuesday, 34-year-old Cesar Lopez of San Francisco was found guilty of one count of felony stalking. He faces up to three years in state prison when he is sentenced June 4.

Lopez, who chose not to take the stand during his trial, had reportedly met the woman when she was 16 and agreed to tutor her in Spanish at the Mission Branch Library. Two years later, authorities said, the woman severed ties with Lopez due to his creepiness, but he carried a torch for her for the next eight years.

Lopez sent letters, mailed packages to her home and created multiple rambling blogs in order to communicate with her, prosecutors said.

At one point he added stones to a popular labyrinth site in Bernal Heights in honor of her. With the stones, police said, he created an “obvious image of her face” — it even included her glasses and a birthmark.

Finally in December, Lopez emailed the woman saying he wanted her to attend a cleansing at the labyrinth site. The woman agreed to meet, but police showed up instead.

Inspector John Keane of the special victims unit praised the efforts of Ingleside Police Station, prosecutor Karen Catalona and his team for their efforts in gaining a “challenging” conviction.

“The victim in this case was subjected to repeated and unwanted contact by the suspect, which placed her in fear,” Keane said. “She showed incredible courage.”


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