After years of judges dismissing cases against him, a San Francisco man was sentenced for stalking and harassing women in what authorities called a “pattern of predatory behavior.”
Bill Gene Hobbs, 34, will serve two-and-a-half years in county jail then three years in state prison, and have to register as a sex offender. Hobbs, who had been accused of stalking, groping and chasing women, was convicted of felony false imprisonment, eight counts of misdemeanor battery, sexual battery and assault in May.
Hobbs interrupted one victim who spoke during his sentencing on Thursday, telling her to “get over yourself,” The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Mr. Hobbs sentence today delivers justice to the victims and shows how seriously the court took this case and each one of their stories,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a June 8 statement. “Because of the brave testimony of the victims and their willingness to share their stories we were able to demonstrate a clear pattern of predatory behavior and the full impact of his criminal conduct on the victims. This sentence brings us one step closer to achieving our goal of public safety.”
Hobbs had six priors in San Francisco dating back to 2017 — each of which had been dismissed “in the interest of the public,” according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Two years prior to Hobbs’ conviction, a judge dismissed a case accusing him of stalking a 15-year-old girl.
Hobbs, who stands 6 feet, 4 inches and has the word “EVIL” tattooed across four fingers on one hand, was accused of following the girl for half an hour, grabbing her and telling her they belonged together. She reportedly ran to hide inside a bookshop, where she called her father for help, according to a 2021 report from The San Francisco Chronicle.
“The guy’s a predator,” the girl’s father, Blaise Zerega, told the Chronicle at the time.
He recalled the moment Hobbs was arrested outside the bookstore after the incident involving his daughter. The suspect had screamed, “I’m going to f— you up!” in Zerega’s face.
Hobbs’ public defender, Nitin Sapra, told the outlet at the time that a different judge had deemed Hobbs incompetent to stand trial and denied pretrial release for the suspect.
In the years since, more women came forward against Hobbs, accusing him of stalking, harassment and assault.
One victim, Karina S., who read a statement aloud in court on Thursday, said Hobbs followed her while she was jogging through Golden Gate Park, “smiling like a Cheshire cat, staring me down as I was screaming to get away,” according to the Chronicle. She said the encounter “completely changed her life,” and she has since had to get a guard dog and pepper spray.
Hobbs reportedly interrupted the victim as she read her statement in court, saying, “It was not an assault!”
“Someone tapped you on the shoulder, and it ruined your life! Wow, get over yourself!” he said, according to the Chronicle. He added later when the victim said Hobbs treated her like a piece of prey: “I’m a vegetarian!”
Assistant District Attorney Brittney Delgado said in a Thursday statement that the case “demonstrated the importance of reporting illegal conduct to the police, no matter how unlikely catching a perpetrator may seem to a particular victim at the time.”
“It was because of the individual efforts on the part of these victims to capture photos of the defendant in real time that the investigations were able to be linked together to show that these were not isolated incidents and were in fact a predatory pattern against young women, perpetuated and carried out in deliberate manner against vulnerable, unsuspecting victims,” she said.