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L.A. officials receive video of men sexually assaulting disabled women

By Michael Martinez and Paul Vercammen, CNN
Los Angeles officials seek the public's help in identifying these men depicted in drawings made using the videos.
Los Angeles officials seek the public's help in identifying these men depicted in drawings made using the videos.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Anonymous tipster drops off video of apparently disabled women being sexually assaulted
  • The video shows at least eight male suspects
  • Detectives can develop composites of four of the suspects
  • Authorities need the tipster's or public's help on when or where the video was made
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Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators made a public appeal Thursday in seeking at least four men who were videotaped sexually assaulting at least 10 women who appear to be severely disabled, including women in a care home.

The video came from 11 DVDs that an anonymous tipster dropped off last March at the Sheriff's Department headquarters in Monterey Park, California, said Sgt. Dan Scott.

The video was shot by a security camera and a handheld camera, Scott told reporters at a news conference.

One segment shows a woman victim wearing a diaper while in a wheelchair, Scott said.

Several locations are depicted in the video, including at least one place that appears to be a residential care facility, authorities said. Authorities don't know when or where the sexual assaults occurred.

Sgt. Diane Hecht told CNN that detectives are "starting from scratch" in their inquiry.

"We have victims, and we just don't know if the assaults are continuing. We have four suspects, and we need the public's help to take them into custody as soon as possible," Hecht told CNN.

"This is extremely serious. These women are developmentally disabled. It's awful to take advantage of anyone, but especially someone who could not defend themselves," Hecht said.

The more than 100 hours of video shows a sequence of at least 10 women being sexually assaulted by at least eight men, and investigators were able to develop composite drawings of four of the suspects, authorities said.

"The extremely disturbing videos are not being released to the public, but photos from portions of the video are being released in an effort to identify some of the suspects and at least one room depicted," the Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Detectives asked the tipster to call the anonymous Crime Stoppers communication system at 800-222-8477 and provide details on the video's origins. Investigators said members of the public can also call the special victim bureau's hot line at (866) 247-5877. Information can also be provided anonymously by texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or by accessing the Crime Stoppers website at www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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