La Jolla restaurant owner denies drugging, raping 4 women

SAN DIEGO – The owner of a popular La Jolla restaurant is being held on nearly $1 million bail after he denied drugging and raping at least four women.

Daniel Dorado, 59, is charged with 14 felony counts including rape of an unconscious person. Prosecutors say Dorado raped four woman over a nine-year period beginning in 2009. The most recent assault allegedly took place this January. Police say are following up many more leads, so additional charges could be forthcoming.

Dorado owns Voce del Mar, a popular Italian seafood restaurant on La Jolla Boulevard in the Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla. At least one of the four women accusing Dorado said that she was raped inside the restaurant.

Deputy District Attorney Kate Flaherty said the stories of all four alleged victims are very similar. One woman said she was raped at the restaurant when she went there for what she believed was a job interview.

"He is charged with oral copulation of an unconscious person times two. He is charged with multiple counts of felony sexual battery, and he's also charged with three counts of intercourse on an unconscious person," Flahrey told reporters after the arraignment.

"Well, Mr. Dorado is saying he has never drugged anyone, he has never raped anyone, he has never been involved in any of these quite serious allegations," said Dan Greene, Dorado's lawyer.

Greene asked the judge to lower his client's bail, but Judge Maureen Hallahan refused, leaving it at $900,000. The lawyer also requested the judge to bar the media from recording the proceedings, but the judge denied that request as well.