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L.A. Now Live: One man behind 30 SoCal massage parlor attacks

September 26, 2013

Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Richard Winton about a serial rapist who has been targeting Southern California massage-parlor workers for years.

The man is suspected in at least 30 “extremely violent” attacks that date a decade across Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. He appears to target immigrant workers and threatens to kill some victims if they report the attacks to police, officials said.

Investigators began linking the cases last year, after DNA taken from a 2009 attack in Riverside matched samples from scenes in Gardena, the city of Industry, the Chino Hills area and Fontana. Though DNA has connected only five of the cases, investigators said video footage and other information tied the suspect to five other attacks, including cases in Corona and Pedley where the suspect wore the same shirt.

Because the man appeared to victimize small businesses with immigrant employees, police said, they fear many additional attacks went unreported. The attacker also told victims he would kill them if they contacted police, Riverside Police Det. Aurelio Melendrez said.

Authorities said they decided to release a video and photos of the suspect — a man in his 40s, weighing between 240 and 260 pounds, about 6 feet tall — because they had exhausted all other methods of trying to find him.

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