Man arrested on suspicion of sexually harassing, assaulting women in downtown SLO

John Kirk Hatley Jr.
John Kirk Hatley Jr.

Police say a transient man was arrested on the evening of March 10 after he followed and sexually harassed several women in downtown San Luis Obispo.

John Kirk Hatley Jr., 26, was charged in San Luis Obispo Superior Court with four counts of felony indecent exposure, two counts of felony assault with intent to commit rape and one count of felony pandering, which allegedly involved an attempt to offer one woman money in exchange for sexual acts.

Hatley also is charged with three counts of misdemeanor lewd conduct in public. The severity of some of the felony charges are enhanced because Hatley served a state prison term within the past five years, including one sentence in Los Angeles for robbery.

San Luis Obispo police Sgt. Chad Pfarr said Hatley followed and harassed four women, each only identified in charging documents by their initials, and that he was masturbating in public. Pfarr said Hatley later was taken into custody by two bicycle police officers.

Capt. Chris Staley said that in addition, Hatley was acting bizarre and walking in and out of traffic.

Hatley is in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he is being held on $255,000 bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 21.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler