After a trial where more than a dozen women described encounters of being grabbed, groped, or kissed by suspect Bill Gene Hobbs, Hobbs was found guilty Wednesday afternoon on eight misdemeanor counts and one felony.
The groping exploits of 34-year-old Bill Gene Hobbs have been in the headlines since the summer of 2021, when stories surfaced that Hobbs was accused of stalking and grabbing a 15-year-old in West Portal, had also allegedly tried to climb into a woman's car that same day, and had been accused of stripping off his clothes and chasing a woman in Glen Canyon.
Hobbs was able to evade charges under both DA Chesa Boudin and Brooke Jenkins, though mostly because of judges’ decisions. But Hobbs was ultimately arrested last October as his string of gropings seemed to continue, and his trial started May 1 at the San Francisco Superior Court.
Now the Chronicle reports that Hobbs was found guilty on Wednesday, on one felony county of false imprisonment, and eight misdemeanor counts of battery, sexual battery and assault. According to Bay City News, Hobbs faces up to eight years in prison.
“The jury’s verdict delivers justice for all of the women that were victimized by Mr. Hobbs,” DA Jenkins said in a release. “He will now face consequences for his unacceptable behavior, and brazen harassment of women throughout San Francisco. I am grateful to the courageous women who came forward and shared their stories with investigators and prosecutors that paved the way for us to be able to hold him accountable for his actions and send a message against harassment.”
Hobbs’s trial surprisingly had an all-male jury, though they were clearly swayed by testimony from more than a dozen women describing the assaults. And many of those witnesses felt they could pretty reliably identify Hobbs as the offender, given the word “EVIL” is tattooed on his knuckles.
The jury deliberated for three days before reaching their decision, though they were split on two charges where they felt Hobbs was not reliably identified as the suspect, so those two charges were thrown out.
Hobbs remains in custody at a San Bruno jail, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8.
Image via USF