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Restaurant owner drugged, raped 8 women, prosecutor says

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SAN DIEGO -- A prosecutor made her final attempt Monday to convince jurors that a La Jolla restaurant owner is guilty of 35 felonies, including drugging and sexually assaulting eight women.

In closing arguments, the prosecution said that Daniel Dorado, the 61-year owner of Voce Del Mare in The Bird Rock area of La Jolla, committed the rapes and assaults over a nine-year period. The charges include raping an unconscious person and raping an intoxicated person.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto described the details of each rape. She said Dorado displayed a pattern of behavior that proves each assault was intentional and planned -- a pattern that Dorado repeated over and over again.

"No reasonable person would have sex with someone who is vomiting," Coto told the jury.

Dorado met the women, who ranged in age from 22 to 58, at local bars and restaurants. Dorado set up some of meetings under the guise of a job interview, the prosecutor said. Others were set up on dating websites.  He gave some of the women spiked drinks that knocked them unconscious, and they woke up to find Dorado having sex with them,  Coto told the jurors.

"(One woman) was in and out of consciousness and awoke to him oral copulating her," Coto said. "She threw up, and he continued.”

Dorado's defense attorney has argued that the sexual encounters were consensual and that the women  were not drugged but rather drank too much alcohol and made poor decisions.

“No one was dragged upstairs and into a hotel room," Dorado's attorney said. "No one was restrained.”

Coto finished her closing argumentlate Monday afternoon.  The defense will continue its closing arguments Tuesday.

If found guilty of all charges, Dorado faces up to 30 years and 8 months behind bars.

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