General Crime

* Sonoma Co. Thomas Boccaleoni, 44, Of Cotati, Suspect Of Roadside Assault Delays Plea

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Nine felony charges involving three victims were filed this afternoon against the suspect in the roadside assaults of women driving alone on rural Sonoma County roads since November.Thomas Boccaleoni, 44, of Cotati, did not enter a plea this afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court. Judge Elliot Daum scheduled entry of plea for Monday and set Boccaleoni’s bail at $1 million after Deputy District Attorney Jason Riehl said Boccaleoni is a risk to public safety.  His bail had been $220,000 but there also is a no bail hold against Boccaleoni for a violation of his probation in San Francisco where he was convicted of groping four women he approached in their cars in the Marina District in 2005. He remains in the Sonoma County jail.The Marin County cook was arrested late Tuesday at his Cotati home.  He is charged with one count of anal or genital penetration, three counts of assault with intent to commit rape, two counts of threatening a crime with intent to terrorize, one count of sexual battery and two counts of false imprisonment with violence.The complaint also contains enhancements on each of the nine counts alleging Boccaleoni has a prior felony conviction and is a habitual criminal.Riehl said the assaults are still under investigation. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department said two victims identified Boccaleoni in a photo line-up as the suspect who accosted them after they stopped alongside the road “at his persistence.” Those incidents occurred on Calistoga Road near Santa Rosa and Sexton Road near Sebastopol, the sheriff’s department said. There could be as many as 13 similar incidents since November 18, the sheriff’s department said. The suspect flashed his high-beam headlights or pulled next to them to get them to pull over. He claimed there was either an accident and asked them to call for help or said something was wrong with the woman’s car, the sheriff’s department said.The Sexton Road incident happened April 18 when a male driver tried to pull a woman from her car and grabbed her by the neck.Two other possibly related incidents occurred in a Rohnert Park apartment complex in November. In one a man assaulted a woman as she walked through the complex and in another the suspect approached a woman sitting in her car and shouted at her saying he needed to use her cell phone.Both Riehl and Chief Deputy Public Defender Mike Perry objected to a news photographer taking pictures of Boccaleoni in court this afternoon.Riehl said the published photos might affect the ongoing investigation and taint other potential victims’ identifications of the suspect. Daum rescinded his prior approval of the photography. Boccaleoni was convicted in 1992 of two misdemeanor charges of intentional violation of a court order to prevent harassment, disturbing the peace or threats or acts of violence. The offenses occurred on April 18 and June 22, 1992.He received three years’ probation for the June incident and successfully completed it on Sept. 28, 1995.In the April incident, a misdemeanor assault charge against him was dismissed. He was sentenced to two years probation in that case and ordered to attend anger management classes.He also was sentenced to 30 days in the Sonoma County jail but was allowed to apply for work furlough. He was found to be in violation of his probation in October 1992, his probation was revoked in December 1992 and a $3,000 arrest warrant was issued on Jan. 7, 1993, when he failed to appear in court, according to court records.The warrant was recalled on Jan. 12, 1993, and the district attorney’s office dropped the violation of probation charge after an oral report by the probation department. Boccaleoni successfully completed his two-year’s probation on Aug. 13, 1994.

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