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Suspect in Sexual Attacks Is Sought

September 01, 2004|Jia-Rui Chong | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is looking for a man they believe raped one woman and attempted to sexually assault two others near downtown Los Angeles' Union Station in July.

Such a cluster of sexual assaults "hasn't happened here [before] that I'm aware of," said Det. Jeanine Lum, who handles sex crimes for the sheriff's transit services bureau. "But it is a public place. Obviously, it's a main hub. This isn't, you know, the Pentagon, where few people are allowed in there and need clearance."

Authorities said no more sexual assaults have occurred in the area since.

The department has issued a flier describing a muscular man in his late 20s with a dark complexion, black hair, brown eyes and facial hair, about 6 feet tall.

Sheriff's officials said they have collected DNA evidence and are awaiting its processing.

On July 16, a 16-year-old girl reported being raped in the stairwell in a cavernous parking structure below the Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters at 10:30 a.m., authorities said.

Six days later, about 2:30 p.m., a man tried to take off his belt and grab an 18-year-old woman near a stairwell in the same parking structure, sheriff's officials said. The woman managed to kick the man off her.

The women gave similar descriptions of the attacker and said that he told them, " 'I'm not going to hurt you,' " Lum said.

On July 31, between noon and 1 p.m., a man tried to open his pants, made suggestive comments and lunged toward a 22-year-old woman as they were riding the Red Line toward Union Station. The woman told officials that she fought him off and started screaming. The man fled.

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