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L.A. police arrest man suspected of molesting girls in Mid-City area

February 2, 2010 | 12:07 pm

L.A. police detectives have arrested a man they believe is responsible for molesting at least four girls over the last two years in the Mid-City area.

Police officials plan to identify the man Tuesday afternoon at a news conference. The man allegedly approached the girls while they were walking and enticed them into apartment buildings, where he attempted to sexually assault them.

The L.A. City Council, at the request of Councilman Ed Reyes, had offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the man's conviction.

Detectives had acquired video showing the suspect getting out of a 1990s Mazda Millennia with a sun or moon roof before attacking a girl last November. The 10-year-old was walking to school near Beverly Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue when she was approached by a man who engaged her in conversation.

The man lured her into an apartment complex in the 100 block of South Commonwealth Avenue, which he entered by waiting for someone to exit through a rear stairwell. When the person exited, he pretended that he had forgotten his key and walked in with the girl, detectives said.

The suspect guided the girl up the stairwell to the roof area, where he attempted to sexually assault her. The girl begged the suspect to stop and repeatedly pushed him away. Investigators said the girl's "persistent actions caused the suspect to stop and leave the location."

A security video captured the victim with the suspect and later the suspect running alone northbound on Commonwealth Avenue. Detectives believe the suspect is also responsible for a July 10, 2009, attack on another 10-year-old girl walking in the area of 3rd and Hoover streets.

The suspect approached her and enticed her into an apartment building in the 300 block of South Hoover Street, where he took her to the roof. But detectives said something apparently startled the suspect, who suddenly fled and left the victim behind.

The investigators connected two similar crimes that occurred in 2008. An 8-year-old girl was walking in the 600 block of South Burlington Avenue in April, at about 7:30 a.m., when the suspect approached her and led her into a nearby apartment building, where he attempted to sexually assault her in a secluded area.

A similar incident occurred in February when a 9-year-old girl was walking in the area of James M. Wood Boulevard and Hoover Street when the suspect approached her on foot, spoke to her and eventually pulled her into an apartment building in the 2700 block of James M. Wood Boulevard. Detectives say he then attempted to sexually assault her.

-- Richard Winton

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