Tag: sexual assault

Sexual Assault Suspect Malcolm Ward Arrested

May 16, 2024 ·

Malcolm Ward. Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department announced on Thursday, May 16 that a suspect who attempted to sexually assault a woman has been arrested.

Lt. Erika Aklufi of the SMPD informed Canyon News that on Monday, May 13, at 7:14 a.m., officers responded to reports of an assault occurring in the 2000 block of Ocean Front Walk.  Witnesses to the incident told dispatchers a young woman was being dragged across the ground by her ponytail.

Responding officers were on scene within minutes and found both the victim and suspect near the Bicknell restrooms.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident.  The victim, a Venice resident, was jogging southbound on the beach path when the suspect grabbed her ponytail from behind, knocking her to the ground. He pulled her several feet toward the restrooms.

The victim believed that the suspect intended to sexually assault her.  Several witnesses intervened in the attack and contacted police.  The victim suffered minor physical injuries during the incident.

The suspect was identified as Malcolm Jimmy Ward, Jr., 48 and he is currently on parole for Assault with a Deadly Weapon.  He is currently homeless and is being held without bail.

On May 15, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Ward with felony counts of:

  • Kidnapping
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Rape
  • Violation of Parole

Lt. Aklufi informed Canyon News via email that “No other reported attacks in Santa Monica.” She added she was unaware of any possible attacks by the suspect involving the LAPD or any other agencies.

Anyone with additional details about the assault is asked to contact Detective James McCoy at james.mccoy@santamonica.gov or CrimeTips@santamonica.gov.

By Trevor

Fernando Macias Morales Arrested For Sexual Assault By SMPD

April 11, 2024 ·

Fernando Macias Morales. Photo courtesy of Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA/WEST HOLLYWOOD—Lt. Erika Aklufi of the Santa Monica Police Department informed Canyon News via email on Wednesday, April 10 that a suspect responsible for a 2023 sexual assault has been arrested.

On September 7, 2023, authorities responded to the 2900 block of Pennsylvania Ave regarding a sexual assault. A woman reported that a Lyft driver picked her up from a restaurant in West Hollywood and sexually assaulted her during the ride home.

The victim, a Santa Monica resident, fell asleep in the car and woke up to inappropriate touching. The suspect offered to walk her to her door, which she refused. Once home, she realized several hours passed since she was picked up.

Santa Monica detectives investigated and identified the driver as Fernando Macias Morales, 34, of Los Angeles. He was arrested him on April 5, 2024, in the San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Morales with felony counts of:

  • Kidnapping to commit a sexual act (California Penal Code 209(b)(1))
  • Sexual penetration of a person intoxicated or under sedation (California Penal Code 289(e))
  • Oral copulation of a person intoxicated person or under sedation (California Penal Code 287(i))

His bail is set at $500,000. Anyone with additional details is asked to contact Det. Stephanie Davis at 310-458-2201 x4400, Sgt. Chad Goodwin at 310-458-8931, or the Watch Commander desk 24 hours a day at 310-458-8427.

By Trevor

Anthony Pittman Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison

April 1, 2024 ·

A man who sexually assaulted a woman has been sentenced to 8 years in state prison. Photo by Syarafina Yusof via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, March 28, 2024, the Santa Monica Police Department announced that in February 2024, Anthony Pittman, who is currently homeless, pled no contest to a series of sexual assaults he committed between August and September 2022.

The SMPD reported on September 27, 2022, at approximately 4 a.m., a female experiencing homelessness was sleeping near the Santa Monica Library when she awoke to a male suspect attempting to remove her blankets. She attempted to run from the suspect but was tackled to the ground where he sexually assaulted her. A few hours after the incident, she walked to the Santa Monica Police Station and made an official report.

The other 2022 incidents occurred in LAPD’s Northeast and Wilshire Divisions. Pittman was linked to his victims, who were all homeless female adults, through DNA evidence.

Pittman, a previously convicted sex offender, was sentenced to eight years in state prison for Forced Sodomy and Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony. The SMPD is asking anyone with information connected to Pittman to contact Detective Sergeant Goodwin at Chad.Goodwin@santamonica.gov, or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

By Trevor

Anthony Romero Arrested For Attempted Sexual Assault, Burglary

March 5, 2024 ·

Anthony Romero. Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA—Lt. Erika Aklufi of the Santa Monica Police Department informed Canyon News via email that a suspect involved in an attempted sexual assault, burglary, and indecent exposure has been arrested.

The SMPD reported on February 29, at approximately 2:10 a.m., a male subject entered a residence in the 2400 block of 2nd Street. The victim awoke to the subject standing by her bed and touching her face while he masturbated. The victim ordered the subject to leave, and he complied, fleeing the residence before officers arrived.

Officers arrived on scene and obtained security footage of the suspect entering the victim’s house. The video was immediately shared with detectives who, within hours, identified the suspect as Anthony Romero, 28, currently experiencing homelessness.

On Friday, March 1, at 9:22 a.m., Watch officers located Romero walking in the 400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. With the help of the UAS/Drone, which was on scene in minutes, and the assisting K9 officer who contacted the suspect, Romero was taken into custody without incident.

He was booked for Burglary, Indecent Exposure, Attempt to Commit Rape, and a Parole Hold (out of San Bernardino County).

“Romero is on parole for a weapons violation.  He has been arrested twice before in Santa Monica, in January 2022 for shoplifting and in June 2023 for public intoxication, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer, and violation of parole,” Lt. Aklufi told Canyon News

Anyone with details on the incident or Romero is asked to contact Detective McCoy at James.McCoy@santamonica.gov, Detective Sergeant Goodwin at  Chad.Goodwin@santamonica.gov, or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

By Trevor

Charges In Sexual Assault Cases In Culver City, Long Beach, Additional Victims Sought

January 17, 2024 ·

WESTWOOD/SANTA MONICA—On January 9, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with Culver City Police Chief Jason Sims and Long Beach Police Deputy Chief of Investigations Don Mauk, announced felony charges in two separate cases.

In the first case, out of Culver City, Marcos Maldonado was charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at her Culver City home. In the second case, out of Long Beach, Martin Lopez was arrested for impersonating a police officer and accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to kidnap a woman.

“From the day this disturbing and tragic crime occurred, Culver City Police Department Investigators have worked tirelessly to solve this case,” said Culver City Police Chief Jason Sims. “I want to thank all our partners who worked alongside our detectives to ensure this suspect was identified and located as quickly as possible. Thank you to the LA Impact Task Force, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab, the UCLA Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for your partnership. I also want to thank the Culver City community, particularly the Blair Hills neighborhood for the continued support of the dedicated men and women of the Culver City Police Department who have worked diligently to seek justice for the victim in this case. We will continue to work in close collaboration with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office through the successful prosecution of this suspect.”

“Our personnel work tirelessly to keep Long Beach safe and to hold suspects responsible for crime committed in our city,” said Long Beach Chief of Police Wally Hebeish. “This arrest is a testament to our commitment to bringing justice to victims and getting dangerous suspects out of our community. We urge anyone who may have also been a victim of this suspect to please come forward and we stand ready to assist the District Attorney in the prosecution of this case.”

Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Martin Lopez, 54, was arrested, not charged, for impersonating a police officer. It is further alleged that Lopez has previously been convicted of two or more serious and/or violent felonies. He is scheduled to be arraigned on January 24 in Dept. S01 at the Long Beach Courthouse.

On or about December 27, 2023, the victim was leaving a restaurant in Long Beach when she was allegedly approached by Lopez at her vehicle outside of the restaurant. He falsely identified himself as a police officer, showing the victim a badge. Lopez allegedly proceeded to sexually assault the woman under the guise of a “search.” He attempted to unsuccessfully command the victim get into his vehicle. At that time, Lopez was confronted by one of the multiple individuals who witnessed the incident.

He fled the scene and was arrested on January 4, 2024. Hi bail was set at $2,410,000. Lopez could face up to 77 years to life in prison. The case was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

Marcos Maldonado, 35, is charged in case 24ARCF00040 with two counts of forcible rape of a child under 14 years; one count of sodomy by use of force – victim under age 14; and two counts of sexual penetration by use of force of victim under 14.

It is further alleged that the offenses were committed, the victim was a child under 14 years of age. It also is alleged that the defendant committed the offenses during the commission of a burglary and engaged in the tying or binding of the victim.

Maldonado pleaded not guilty to all charges at an arraignment on January 8. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 15 in Dept. 31 at the Airport Courthouse.

On December 2, 2023, Maldonado allegedly broke into the 12-year-old victim’s home through an upstairs balcony during the early morning hours where he proceeded to sexually assault her over the course of three hours. He was identified by the victim in a six-pack photo line-up. His bail was set at $1,800,000 at his arraignment.

If convicted as charged, Maldonado will face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The case was investigated by the Culver City Police Department.
It is believed that there may be more victims of both Lopez and Maldonado and they are asked to come forward. If anyone has details regarding Lopez they should call 562-570-7368. If anyone has details about Maldonado they should contact 310-253-6302 or email tips@culvercity.org.

By Trevor

Rainbow Bar And Grill Sued By Female Patrons

August 29, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Two women are suing the Rainbow Bar located in West Hollywood claiming they were sexually abused by adult film star Ron Jeremy back in 2017.

The lawsuit claims that the famous Sunset Strip restaurant allowed Jeremy inside and would allegedly “facilitate Ron Jeremy drugging women’s drinks.” The two victims only identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 allege that the negligent actions of the defendant “caused the injuries and damages including being sexually assaulted by Ron Jeremy.” Jeremy is not named as a defendant in this lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the Rainbow Bar and Grill’s Yelp page has more than 1,000 customer reviews which include more than 50 that mention Jeremy as a regular. Some of the reviews have multiple photos of Jeremy with other patrons.

The suit claims that the Rainbow Bar and Grill employees would give permission and would knowingly allow Ron Jeremy, a known sexual predator, to use the employees’ restroom to sexually assault female patrons. The company has allegedly allowed the defendant his own dungeon where he would commit heinous sexual acts against female patrons.

“The Rainbow Bar intentionally created a dangerous, sexualized, and hostile environment for its female patrons.”

The plaintiffs claim that within 10 minutes of their arrival at the Rainbow Bar & Grill back on March 17, 2017, Jeremy targeted the women by offering them drinks, talking to the pair and attempting to make out with them. The two women refused Jeremy’s advances and he later approached Jane Doe 1 and told her, “Let me show you something cool.” He then proceeded to inappropriately touch her without her consent, according to the suit.

Jeremy who is currently a resident in a state-run mental health facility, is facing other rape and sexual assault charges involving 21 alleged victims dating back to 1996, after an August 2021 indictment. Criminal proceedings were suspended in March 2022 after his attorney questioned his mental competency.

By Christianne

Former LAPD Police Officer Paul Razo Charged With Sexual Assault

May 17, 2023 ·

HOLLYWOOD HILLS—The Los Angeles Police Department announced on Monday, May 15 that they were made aware of the criminal case involving former Police Officer Paul Razo, 47, who has been charged with eight counts of lewd acts with a child on May 5, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division initiated an administrative investigation, which is being conducted simultaneously with the pending criminal case. The administrative investigation will include reviewing his past work history for similar behavior.

“Chief Michel Moore is deeply disturbed by these allegations as they are in direct opposition to the Department’s Core Values and expectations of a Los Angeles Police Officer,” the LAPD indicated in a statement.

Officer Razo has been employed by the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years and was last assigned to Hollywood Area as a training coordinator. He separated from the LAPD in March 2023. He sexually assaulted four boys at his Covina home.

“The allegations of sexual abuse against vulnerable children in this case are deeply disturbing and it’s particularly troubling that the defendant was a law enforcement officer at the time,” said District Attorney Gascón.

Childhood sexual abuse causes immeasurable harm and our hearts go out to the victims who were victimized by someone they trusted. We will do everything in our power to ensure that they have access to the support and resources they need to heal. Sexual abuse of any kind is a heinous crime and we will not tolerate it in our community.”

The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting two of his young male relatives. One of the victims was about 11 or 12 years old when Razo allegedly began the abuse, while the other victim was around 13.

The other two victims were sons of a woman Razo had been dating and they often reportedly spent the night at his home. One of the boys was 9 or 10 years old when Razo is accused of sexually assaulting him, while the victim’s brother was 12 years old.

The alleged crimes occurred during various times between 2006 and 2017.

The LAPD is cooperating with the LADA’s Office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation relating to Razo’s alleged criminal conduct.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll-free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org.

To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or http://lacrimestoppers.org.