Man charged with groping residents during burglaries pleads not guilty

A man who allegedly broke into five San Mateo homes and groped the residents before making off with their property pleaded not guilty to burglary and sexual battery charges Wednesday, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Ismael Espinoza-Vazquez, 24, was arrested on Monday after police received multiple calls of a man breaking into several residences in the area between North Kensington Street and North Bayshore Boulevard, according to police.

They found Espinoza-Vazquez climbing out of a resident’s window. After a short chase and struggle with officers, he was arrested. One officer suffered a minor injury during the arrest, police said.

He had allegedly broken into five residences. During two of the burglaries, the victims were home and he grabbed their genitals and made them spank or hug him, prosecutors said.

Investigators connected him to two other crimes in the last two years. In June, he allegedly grabbed a victim who was drying off after a shower in a 24 Hour Fitness gym. In July 2015, he allegedly stole $2,200 worth of property from a parked car, prosecutors said.

Espinoza-Vazquez is charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of attempted burglary, three counts of trespassing, five misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, three counts of vandalism, resisting arrest, battery on a peace officer and grand theft, prosecutors said.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges in court in South San Francisco and was ordered to return to court on Jan. 17. He remains in custody on $300,000 bail.

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