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Nightclub Assault Gets Man Two Years in Prison

Tonic Busboy Caught Elpidio Garcia-Venegas Groping Korean Student


Friday, August 2, 2013
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A 30-year-old man who was caught sexually assaulting a female student from Korea at Tonic Nightclub last summer was sentenced to two years in state prison on Tuesday. Once he completes his prison term, Elpidio Garcia-Venegas will be deported back to Mexico.

Garcia-Venegas was arrested around 1 a.m. on August 17 after one of Tonic’s busboys caught him trapping and groping a 22-year-old female victim on the dance floor. Over the course of the investigation, it emerged that Garcia-Venegas had been drinking with the victim before he pushed her against one of the dance floor’s walls and reached under her dress to grab her privates. The loud music drowned out her cries for help until the busboy saw the woman, who was enrolled in an area language school, “visibly distraught, crying, and looking panicked.”

Elpidio Garcia-Venegas
Click to enlarge photo

SBPD

Elpidio Garcia-Venegas

The employee shined his flashlight on Garcia-Venegas and asked what was going on. He replied the two were simply “sexy dancing” and attempted to leave the club, but the busboy called security, and Garcia-Venegas was detained until police arrived. He was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail the next day for felony sexual battery and placed on an immigration hold.

Garcia-Venegas has remained behind bars since, and up until very recently maintained his innocence, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman. It was only when the case was about to go to trial that he changed his plea to guilty. He faced a maximum of four years in prison. Because of credit Garcia-Venegas received for time served, he will likely be in prison for less than a year before he’s deported to Mexico, said Waldman. Garcia-Venegas was also ordered to pay $445 to cover his victim’s counseling bills.

Waldman thanked the Tonic Nightclub busboy not only for intervening during the assault but also for statements he gave in court during preliminary hearings that helped secure the prosecution’s case. Waldman also noted that Garcia-Venegas was then employed at Olio Pizzeria, but the restaurant’s owner, Elaine Morello, said he presented proper documentation at the time of his hiring.

Comments

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One "sexy dancer" coming up state, enjoy boys.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 1:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Pure racism. We all know that the only reason this guy was arrested is because he is Latino(I'm practicing the "racism" charge for all occaisions).

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 7:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you Itliansurg for speaking on all of our behalfs and I concur. 100% pure racism.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 2:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A retired Sheriff's department worker gave me a statistic sheet of the role alcohol plays in criminal and violent behavior and the one statistic I remember was that alcohol in involved in 50% of rapes.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 3:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, Bill, "Bravado in a Bottle".

dou4now (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 6:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Excuse me? What about the blatant sexual assault, getting caught and dealing with the consequences doesn't apply here? Kudos to the employee at Tonic for being alert, stepping up to protect the victim AND following through with having the bastard arrested - instead of just throwing him out.

MotoBella (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 7:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It doesn't matter if he's latino or not, he's a machisimo douchebag. The arrest was legit and the imprisonment was a great excuse to get him back to Mexico. No woman or man should tolerate being taken advantage of at a club (being at a club doesn't mean that you ask for that kind of abuse). Although clubs certainly do not indicate that someone will meet anyone of quality companionship. She was an innocent and probably helpless Korean student. It would never happen to me cause I would make sure that no perv would ever lay a hand on me but that's what these guys...latino, white trash, african, whoever you name it, are looking for...easy targets. Get over your racist propaganda, it's racist to even think that it's racist. We're all a little racist, yet anthropologically, race does not exist. We are a a mish-mash of ET's anyways.

cinderella (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 10:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe he brought here against his will and was going to school, that would keep him from being deported, right?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 12:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes AZ2SB, there is so much mind control going on, it's always possible he was brought here against his will. They are probably using him as an example to others. And to restaurant owners that they need to keep their employees legit or they could be shut down as well. As a seasoned employee in the restaurant biz, we all no who really keeps restaurants running behind the scenes. They would all be shut down.

cinderella (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2013 at 1:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Motobella: I'm not sure if your including me in your criticism but if you are I stand by what I said about the effects of booze and the mentality of the booze culture. Yes, he should pay the price, but the booze culture encourages the criminal behavior he demonstrated.

Of course, Santa Barbara's love of alcohol precludes any addressing of the cause-and-effect relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual assualt--among many other sociel ills.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2013 at 5:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)