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Authorities seek identity of men videotaped sexually assaulting disabled women

A package left at L.A. County Sheriff's Department headquarters contains 100 hours of footage of men who appear to be assaulting severely disabled women. Investigators are looking for leads on who is involved and where the attacks took place.

January 07, 2011|By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times

The package mysteriously left at Los Angeles County Sheriff's headquarters shocked even some of the department's most grizzled detectives: A hundred hours of video footage showing severely disabled women, many in diapers, being sexually assaulted by anonymous men.

The attacks appeared to have taken place at residential care centers, authorities said, and most of the attackers are believed to be employees. One suspect appears to be a paraplegic patient, hoisting himself off his wheelchair, before removing his diaper and that of his victim's, and beginning his assault.

The footage, dropped off in March, has left detectives with few leads. Though authorities are confident the scenes were shot in residential care facilities, it's unclear if they are located in Los Angeles County. Much of the footage is so grainy that only the faces of four of the estimated 10 men could be made out.

Authorities Thursday asked for the public's help in identifying the men, releasing screenshots and composite drawings of the attackers.

"Maybe they can identify these people," said Sgt. Dan Scott. "Maybe they can identify the room."

Detectives are also hoping the tipster who dropped off the package will come forward. The footage left at sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park came with a note explaining how he discovered the video. He had been commissioned by a man to scrub a computer hard drive, but before he did, he burned 100 hours of video files onto DVDs.

Detectives said the women in the videos appear to be between 20 and 40 years old, some appearing almost entirely unresponsive. The men appear to also be between 20 and 40. The footage, detectives said, appears to be a collection, with some men appearing in more than one scene. Some of the footage was shot with a handheld camera, with the rest appearing to be captured by a security camera, detectives said.

Enhancing and analyzing the video took several months, authorities said. Detectives have not contacted local residential care centers yet, an official said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Special Victims Bureau detectives at (866) 247-5877. Anonymous tipsters can call (800) 222-TIPS.

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