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Man arrested in 2002 rape of unconscious teen in Glendale

Police had been unable to track down the person who attacked an unconscious 16-year-old girl at a motel. DNA evidence produced a match in May 2010, and the man was arrested last week.

August 21, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, Los Angeles Times

A 33-year-old Van Nuys man was arrested after his DNA was linked to the 2002 rape of an unconscious 16-year-girl in a South Glendale motel, police said.

The Tri-Cities Fugitive Apprehension task force arrested Armen Shakhbazyan about 5 p.m. Thursday after tracking him to an auto body shop in Van Nuys, said Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

He faces two felony counts of rape of an unconscious victim and willful harm or injury to a child likely to produce great bodily harm, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.

Police released few details about the incident, which they said is still under investigation.

Lorenz said the then-16-year-old girl reported that she was raped in May 2002 by a man at the El Rio Motel on the 1500 block of East Colorado Street.

The girl's recollection of the rape was vague because she was unconscious during the attack, he said.

The rape became a cold case because police were unable to track down her attacker. But in May 2010, Glendale detectives were notified that Shakhbazyan's DNA matched samples collected in the rape, Lorenz said.

He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

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