A Nov. 3 trial date has been set for an Air Force veteran accused of gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of prescription drugs in the death of a Pacific Beach man on La Jolla Village Drive.
The defendant, Soranon Booppanon, is accused of causing the Oct. 23 crash that killed pedestrian George Matteson, 77, and seriously injured his wife, Betty, 74. Booppanon, of San Diego, has pleaded not guilty.
Booppanon appeared in San Diego Superior Court on July 14 with her attorney to seek a delay in the trial, which had been set for Aug. 18. She remains free on her own recognizance on the condition she does not drive.
Booppanon, 40, was driving to the La Jolla Veterans Administration hospital when she reportedly ran a red light and struck two cars and a truck at the intersection of La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue, killing Matteson. She was taking a painkiller, valium and other drugs at the time.
— Neal Putnam
SUSPECT IN ‘REVENGE PORN’ CASE SET FOR TRIAL
A Nov. 12 trial date was set for a Pacific Beach man who ran a “revenge porn” website, for which he demanded money from women whose ex-boyfriends put their nude photos online.
Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 28, pleaded not guilty July 16 when he appeared in San Diego Superior Court to get a trial date set on his extortion and identity-theft case. His websites were shut down a year ago by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Bollaert’s lawyer, Alex Landon, has previously argued that Bollaert created a forum and received photos from the public, which responded to the website.
Landon maintained the website “may be distasteful,” but he questioned in court whether it was illegal.
The 27 counts of identity theft allege that Bollaert posted the names, sometimes phone numbers or identifying information about the women.
Bollaert asked for payment of up to $250 to remove the photos from another website called “changemyreputation.com.”
Bollaert was ordered to stand trial on all the charges, along with conspiracy allegations, after a four-day preliminary hearing last month.
He remains free on $50,000 bond.
— Neal Putnam
SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO RANKED AMONG TOP THEME PARKS IN U.S.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, recently released the winners in its Travelers’ Choice awards for amusement parks and waterparks, and SeaWorld San Diego made the list. Out of millions of consumer reviews, SeaWorld San Diego was ranked No. 17 in the U.S. in the TripAdvisor rankings.
Known for world-class shows, animal exhibits, rides and educational programs, SeaWorld San Diego was chosen by travel consumers as one of the top theme parks in the country to visit.
Travelers’ Choice Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for amusement parks and waterparks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.
SeaWorld San Diego is currently commemorating its 50th anniversary with “Sea of Surprises.” SeaWorld is one of the leading tourist attractions in San Diego, with more than 155 million visitors over the last five decades.
In addition to SeaWorld San Diego, five other SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment properties ranked in the top 25 amusement parks. The complete list can be found at www.tripadvisor.com/-TravelersChoice-Attractions.
COMIC-CON’S GROWTH IS NO LAUGHING MATTER
1970 will go down in San Diego lore as the year that featured not one Comic-Con event, but two. The inaugural parley, held March 21, was only meant to raise funds and possibly bump up interest for a future convention. Somehow, the idea took hold immediately, and the minicon morphed into a three-day gala that August, with 300 attending discussion groups and film screenings and featuring sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury as a guest.
The rest is history, of course. San Diego’s Comic-Con International is the model for every popular-arts festival of its kind worldwide, with more than 130,000 attending a colossal slate of interviews, films, awards ceremonies and panel talks and infusing about $160 million into the local economy over its single weekend.
This year’s edition opened with a preview night on July 24 and runs through Sunday, July 27, with most events taking place in the vicinity of the San Diego Convention Center downtown.
Among the favorite events is the Masquerade Awards competition, in which the entrants run with their imaginations in designing their escapist sartorials.