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Man poses as photographer, fondles women

November 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles Police Department is warning women in the area about a man posing as a professional photographer and fondling young women.Police say he tells the women he works for a well known magazine, and if they look good enough, they can get a modeling job. But when he gets the women alone, he fondles them.

According to LAPD investigators, 22-year-old Keith Lloyd Nichols is a dangerous sexual predator on the hunt for vulnerable young women. He's targeted four victims in the last six weeks, promising them an opportunity to model for Vibe magazine.

Authorities say Nichols met two of his victims on the Metro Blue Line and in a matter of minutes he persuaded each of them to follow him to a secluded area.

"He is asking them to remove their undergarments. He is then using a tape measure to check the crotch area and he's telling them it's really basically to check for fit of swimwear and things like that," said LAPD Capt. Blake Chow. "In many cases, he's actually fondling them after he gets them to disrobe, partially disrobe."

Some of the encounters took place in apartment building stairwells near 7th Street and Garland Avenue.

Police say the victims came forward after Nichols failed to come through on his promises. None of the women were harmed, but there is concern there are more victims and that the groping could escalate into a violent attack.

Police are now warning young women to be skeptical of any offer that sounds too good to be true.

"These women went and disrobed for this man under the pretense of being fitted for custom underwear," said Paul Vernon, a spokesman for the LAPD. "It sounds silly to most of us now and it sounds silly to them in the aftermath of it as well. Especially, when he did not come forward and make the offer, the job offers that had been promised. Those are the life lessons that we all learn."

Authorities are asking for the public's help to find Nichols before he strikes again.

"Mr. Nichols, we need you to turn yourself in. If not we are going to come out and find you," said Chow. "We also need the public to help us find him. And we would also like to educate the women out there about these types of predators and the way that they operate."


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