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A decade later, 'teardrop rapist' strikes again, police says

April 24, 2012 | 10:50 am

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Police sources have confirmed that the so-called “teardrop rapist” -- who seemingly stopped his attacks  after a string of sexual assaults a decade ago -- has struck again.

Authorities did not provide details in the latest attack attributed to the suspect, who has at least one teardrop-shaped tattoo beneath one of his eyes.

But police have renewed their manhunt for the attacker, who is being sought in connection with as many as 28 sexual assaults in South Los Angeles and Koreatown dating back more than 13 years.

Police are scheduled to hold a midday news conference and will release a sketch of the suspect.

In 2003, the LAPD appealed for help after a June attack on a 15-year-old girl who was walking in the area of Hoover Avenue and Gage Avenue.

Police said a man approached the girl, asking for directions. When she stopped to help, he pulled out a gun and steered her to an alley, where he tried to sexually assault her before running away.

Between February 1999 and January 2003, there were 20 similar incidents believed to be the work of the same suspect.

At the time of the earlier attacks, the assailant was described as a male Latino with brown eyes, brown hair, standing 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-9 and weighing about 150 pounds. Witnesses at the time described him as being 30 to 40 years old.

In those earlier incidents, the suspect wore a dark hooded sweat shirt, a green bandanna and black baseball cap or dark colored beanie to cover his head.

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-- Richard Winton

Image: Sketches of the "teardrop rapist" over the years. Credit: LAPD

Photo: Map of attacks. Credit: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times

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