Gruesome video of man assaulting disabled woman shot in L.A., detectives say
L.A. County sheriff's detectives said they believe a video showing a man appearing to sexually assault a severely disabled woman was shot at a Los Angeles facility.
Detectives stressed the case, which involves multiple assailants, remained open, even after one suspect was arrested Saturday in Hollywood.
Ernie Lloyd, 27, of Los Angeles was arrested after he turned himself in to Los Angeles police after telling them he knew he was wanted, said sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker. Lloyd is the same man described as Suspect No. 1 in images released Thursday by the Sheriff's Department.
Lloyd is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail after being arrested on suspicion of rape of a person with disabilities.
Detectives have identified a 25-year-old woman whom Lloyd is alleged to have assaulted but have so far been unable to find her because neither she nor Lloyd live at the residential care facility where the alleged assault occurred, Parker said. Sheriff's and LAPD detectives are working with investigators with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services to track down the victim.
Since the photos were released, sheriff's officials said scores of tips have come in to the Sheriff's Department hotline, as well as through regular calls.
"The public is clearly shocked and disturbed by every aspect of this case," said sheriff's Det. Dan Scott. "While progress has been made on this shocking case, there is much more to be done. There are still two more suspects whose images have been shared who have not yet been identified, as well as four other suspects. Of great importance to us as well, is that we need to find and help all of the victims."
The actual site of the video has not been established.
Sheriff's officials released still images and composite drawings of at least eight men suspected in attacks on 10 of the disabled women in hopes of identifying those who carried out the assaults.
Bert Hicks of Los Angeles, who is currently serving a sentence in Tehachapi State Prison until 2012, was identified by an LAPD detective who handled a previous case in which Hicks was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a dependent adult. Sheriff's officials say he is Suspect No. 4 in the images they released last week.
The sheriff’s investigation began in March when a package was mysteriously left at sheriff’s headquarters with 100 hours of video footage showing severely disabled women, many in diapers, being sexually assaulted by anonymous men.
The attacks on the women, ages 20 to 40, appeared to have taken place at residential care centers from 2007 to 2009, authorities said, and most of the attackers are believed to be employees.
Although authorities were confident the scenes were shot in residential care facilities, it was unclear if they were in Los Angeles County. Much of the footage is so grainy that only the faces of four of the estimated 10 men could be seen.
Although sheriff's officials cautioned that they are in the early stages of their investigation, Parker said they believe the assault allegedly involving Lloyd took place at a Los Angeles facility.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Photo Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.