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Jury selection began Wednesday for the trial of a La Jolla restaurant owner accused of drugging and sexually assaulting eight women over a nine-year period.

Daniel Dorado, 61, the owner of Voce del Mare, an Italian-style restaurant located on La Jolla Boulevard in the Bird Rock area, is charged with 35 felonies, including rape of an unconscious person and rape of an intoxicated person.

Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday break.

Prosecutors allege Dorado met the victims — who ranged in age from 22 to 58 — at local bars and restaurants, sometimes under the guise of a job interview, and on dating websites.

He allegedly offered the women spiked beverages, causing them to fall unconscious and wake up to the defendant having sex with them or otherwise sexually assaulting them.

Dorado was taken into custody in March 2018 on suspicion of assaults on four women, and the other alleged victims came forward later upon news of his arrest.

The criminal complaint details crimes that allegedly occurred in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

–City News Service

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