Man accused of dining and dashing on dates pleads not guilty
LOS ANGELES — A Southern California man accused of going on dates with women only to ditch them when the check came has pleaded not guilty to additional charges filed against him. Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, 45, pleaded not guilty Friday to four new felony counts of extortion. Two theft charges were dismissed.
Gonzales previously pleaded not guilty to other charges of attempted extortion, fraud and theft. He has a hearing set for Tuesday.
Prosecutors said Gonzales used dating apps to meet women, took them to dinner at restaurants throughout Los Angeles County and then left without paying any part of the bill.
One woman, who did not want to be identified, said earlier this year that she met him on the dating app Bumble last year. They met at a restaurant in Pasadena, she said, and he ordered right away. "A glass of Pinot, a Caesar salad with a side of shrimp, a steak, and a baked potato," she told CBS Los Angeles.
She said he ate most of the meal, leaving half of the baked potato, and said he needed to take a phone call. He never returned, leaving her with the bill.
Prosecutors said eight women ended up paying themselves and that restaurants picked up the check in two cases. If convicted, Gonzales faces more than 16 years behind bars.
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