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4 Are Charged in Rape of Woman, 18, at Home

Crime: Police say the suspects--three of whom live in North Hollywood, the other in Studio City--may have drugged her with GHB.

January 12, 2002|DAVID KELLY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Four men were arrested early Friday and charged with rape and sexual assault after an 18-year-old Simi Valley woman said they had attacked her in her bedroom.

Police are investigating the possibility that the woman was drugged before the attack.

Det. Sgt. Mike King of the Simi Valley Police Department said a 911 call was received at about 4 a.m. from the victim's male roommate, who said the woman had been raped.

King said the victim knew one of the suspects, 19-year-old Jeffrey Pineda, and had expected him to visit her. The man showed up with three male friends the victim didn't know. The woman let them into the house, where she rents a room. The four men had an alcoholic drink and gave the victim a glass of water. They all went to her bedroom to watch television, police said.

King said the victim later became aware that she was disrobed and was being sexually assaulted by the men, who allegedly ignored her cries to stop.

At about 5:30 a.m., police arrested the suspects in their car near the Ronald Reagan Freeway.

The men were identified as Pineda of North Hollywood; Dejon Lashadell Lee, 19, of North Hollywood; Brian Ali Jafari, 19, of Studio City; and Yan Karim, 19, of North Hollywood.

King said the victim's blood and other liquids around the house will be tested for GHB, or gamma hydroxybutrate. The drug, a powerful tranquilizer, can be mixed in a drink and can render a victim incapable of resisting an attack. It has been used frequently in sexual assaults.

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