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Suspect Arrested in Union Station Rape

Authorities believe the 33-year-old man may be involved in other recent assaults in the area.

September 06, 2004|Jia-Rui Chong | Times Staff Writer

Authorities have arrested a suspect in connection with the rape of a woman in an underground parking structure at Union Station last week, and police believe he may have committed five other assaults in recent months.

Steven Jackson, 33, who has no fixed address, is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators are waiting for DNA evidence to be analyzed to determine any tie to other assaults.

Jackson was arrested Thursday evening after a 19-year-old woman standing at Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street ran from him toward an approaching patrol car.

The woman told the deputy that she had just been raped in the parking structure under the headquarters of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and pointed to Jackson as the assailant, said sheriff's Det. Keith Schumaker.

The woman later told detectives she was going home from City College on the Red Line about 3:45 p.m. when a man approached her and invited her to hang out and smoke marijuana, said Schumaker.

"She thought, 'OK. He seems nice,' " Schumaker said. "She had time before she had to go home. She told me later she thought it was poor discretion on her part."

When they reached the fourth level of the parking garage, the man began choking her, the woman told police, then raped her and forced her to perform oral copulation.

The woman said she managed to escape hours later when her assailant decided they were going to Hollywood and brought her out of the parking structure, Schumaker said.

Jackson told sheriff's detectives he had consensual sex with the woman and denied committing any assault, Schumaker said.

The detective said he had been working with the Los Angeles Police Department on other recent rapes near Union Station, and the two agencies plan to file charges against Jackson this week.

The suspect's alleged method of operation and physical characteristics resemble those reported in the other incidents, Schumaker said.

Since March, five other sexual assaults or attempted assaults have been reported in the Union Station area, authorities said. Two occurred in the lower levels of the MTA parking structure.

"You should be careful no matter what" at Union Station, Schumaker said.

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