Serial sex assault suspect arrested by LAPD, Sheriff's Department

Police and sheriff's investigators were poised Wednesday afternoon to announce the arrest of a man suspected in the abduction and sexual assaults of at least a dozen women and teenage girls working in the sex trade in the South Los Angeles area over the past four years.

Two law enforcement sources confirmed the arrest to the Los Angeles Times on condition of anonymity, and Los Angeles police scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference.

The latest reported assault occurred the morning of Dec. 15, and the earliest occurred in January 2014, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

"The suspect approaches females that are involved in prostitution activity has a conversation with them, gets them in (his) vehicle, and then at gunpoint takes them to a remote area of the county near south Los Angeles, where he sexually assaults them, and then releases them," LAPD Capt. William Hayes said last month.

The victims range in age from 15 to 46 years old, Hayes said. No serious injuries have been reported.

The abductions have occurred in the Alameda Corridor area, Hayes said. The 20-mile-long rail cargo expressway links the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the rail network near downtown Los Angeles.

Hayes has declined to be more specific on the locations of the abductions or the locations where the sexual assaults occurred, citing the ongoing investigation.

The suspect was described as black, 30 to 50 years old and between 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighing about 180-220 pounds. Police have said he's bald, with a "salt-and-pepper" goatee or beard.

He drove a couple of different vehicles: an older-model black pickup truck with tinted windows; and a white four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota or Nissan.

Hayes said the man was linked by investigators to three cases via DNA evidence, and to the other cases based on his method of operation and other undisclosed reasons.

The LAPD investigation began with a sexual assault last May in the LAPD 77th Street Station jurisdiction in south Los Angeles, Hayes said. DNA evidence obtained from that victim led investigators to a DNA match in a sexual assault case in the sheriff's jurisdiction in January 2014.

A third case also was linked via DNA to the same suspect, Hayes said previously. Investigators compared those cases and others, and developed a pattern to the crimes, Hayes said.

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