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EL SEGUNDO : Tourist Dragged Out of Hotel, Raped Twice

August 25, 1994|JAMES BENNING

A young Danish tourist was raped twice early Sunday after she was forced from a hotel lobby into the back seat of a sedan, police said.

The 20-year-old woman, who was touring the country with at least one friend, was dragged from the Hacienda Hotel at 525 N. Sepulveda Blvd. by a gunman who moments earlier had robbed a sandwich shop and a copy shop in a mini-mall across the street, said El Segundo Police Sgt. Glenn Coles.

The suspect, armed with a semiautomatic handgun, entered the hotel at 12:40 a.m. Sunday, demanded money and ordered hotel employees and patrons to lie on the floor. He then dragged the woman out a back door and fled with $700 cash.

The woman was forced into a sedan with a waiting driver and raped twice by the gunman during a drive through area streets. At one point, the car stopped and the driver left, Coles said.

The woman was dropped off two hours later at the intersection of Alondra and Lakewood boulevards in Bellflower. She took a taxi back to the hotel before she was taken to a local hospital, treated and released.

She described the suspects' car as a gold or beige full-size American sedan. Police hope to release a sketch of the rapist within the next week, Coles said.

The victim has left Southern California but is still in the country, he said.

The Sunday morning crime spree was the second major crime to rattle the normally peaceful city this month. On Aug. 12, a 43-year-old Westchester man was shot and robbed after he withdrew $100 from a First Interstate Bank automated teller machine at 740 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

The victim, Benny Delacruz, is in critical but stable condition at an area hospital. Police are studying photographs taken from a bank surveillance camera to aid in the identification of a suspect, Coles said.

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