PASADENA, California -- A California man who has been dubbed the "Dine-and-Dash Dater" pleaded not guilty Monday to a slew of charges after allegedly taking financial advantage of women he met mostly through online dating sites, prosecutors said.
According to a criminal complaint, 45-year-old Paul Guadalupe Gonzales faces seven counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion and one count of grand theft, all felonies. He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts each of petty theft and defrauding an innkeeper.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Gonzalez on July 3, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a press release. His bail was set at $315,000.
The crimes are alleged to have occurred between May 2016 and April 2018, when Gonzalez is said to have gone to dinner with women at restaurants in Pasadena, Long Beach, Burbank and Los Angeles.
There he "ordered and consumed food and drinks, then allegedly left without paying any of the bill," Deputy DA Michael Fern said in the statement.
"Eight women purportedly ended up paying the bill themselves, one in the belief that the defendant was going to pay her back, while in two other instances the restaurants picked up the check," the statement said.
Gonzalez is accused of defrauding a total of more than $950 from the victims. In an unrelated incident, he also allegedly received services from a hair salon and left without paying.
He faces a maximum of 13 years in state prison if convicted as charged, prosecutors said.
He is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena on Sept. 7. That city's police department continues to investigate the case.