Former firefighter pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges

The former San Francisco firefighter accused of sexually assaulting several women, using his badge to garner their trust, was arraigned Monday on charges of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Horacio Candia Jr., 48, pled not guilty to three counts of forced oral copulation, one count of sexual battery, one count of making criminal threats, and one count of false imprisonment. He remains in custody on $500,000 bail.

“This defendant was basically a wolf in sheep's clothing,” said District Attorney Kamala D. Harris.  “Not only have his alleged actions physically and emotionally violated this victim, he also broke a public trust by masquerading as one of San Francisco's bravest.”

The latest alleged incident happened Aug. 22 near 16th and Carolina streets on the border of San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. Candia reportedly used his badge to lure a woman into his car. The woman was able to escape and call authorities.  A warrant was subsequently issued for the arrest of Candia, who turned himself in to the SFPD on Sept. 5.

Candia's nearly nine-year career with the San Francisco Fire Department ended in January of 2001, when he was fired for refusing to take a drug test, according to a fire department spokesperson, who said it was suspected that Candia had been intoxicated while on the job.

Police allege that Candia has used his badge on more than one occasion to sexually assault women.

— Staff report

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