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Twin Girls Molested; Suspect Turns Himself In

Crime: Man walks into La Palma police station after seeing videotape on television news.

July 04, 2001|THUY-DOAN LE and MAI TRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

A Buena Park man turned himself in to police Tuesday after seeing video images of himself on TV news broadcasts identifying him as a suspect in the sexual molestation of twin 8-year-old girls.

Trampas Orey, 26, a registered sex offender, walked into the La Palma police station about 8:15 p.m., was arrested and booked on two counts each of kidnapping and lewd and lascivious acts with minors.

"We're really grateful and very happy that he's in custody," said Sgt. Eric Nunez, a spokesman for the La Palma Police Department. "The rest of the holiday will be good for everybody, we hope."

The video was taken Monday afternoon by a woman taping her daughter swimming in the pool of Nova La Palma Apartments on Valley View Street, where the twins were molested. Orey, who had been swimming with some children at the complex, could be seen in the background of the video.

Orey is suspected of grabbing the twins by their wrists, dragging them inside their apartment and molesting hem. The woman, who inadvertently captured the suspect's image on her tape, turned it over to police.

"It looks like he may have known where the apartment was because he forcibly took them into there," Nunez said.

After the attack, one mother said she would not allow her 5-year-old daughter to leave the apartment without her.

"I thought this place was safe," said Sharlene Java, 25. "She always goes on her scooter and I watch from the balcony, but sometimes I have to answer the phone or something."

The twin girls had met Orey at the pool, Nunez said. More than a dozen witnesses reported seeing a man playing with the children in the pool near the time of the incident. Nick Kelley, 17, a volunteer at the pool clubhouse, said he was suspicious of him.

"He was swimming in his [blue and red plaid] boxers and touching the children," Kelley said.

After the attack, the twins told a neighbor, who called police. The girls said the man grabbed them after they had refused his demand that they remove their clothing.

The twin's parents, who were at work at the time, are being interviewed by social workers.

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