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Video shows disabled women sexually assaulted

January 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Sexual assaults of severely disabled women are caught on tape. Veteran investigators describe the case as "extremely disturbing."At least 10 severely disabled women were sexually assaulted and the incidents were caught on tape.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators want the public's help to identify the attackers and their victims. Investigators released sketches of the suspects.

Veteran detectives at sheriff's headquarters said this is one of the worst cases of abuse of defenseless victims that they have investigated.

Sherriff's detectives released sketches of four men Thursday whom they believe are connected to the sexual assault of at least 10 severely disabled women at residential care facilities. They believe that most of the suspects are employees of the facilities.

"These suspects and their activity is so heinous, it shocked the conscience," said L.A. County Sheriff's Det. Ron Anderson.

Detectives say they have up to 100 hours of video footage of multiple assaults committed by the suspects. They say up to six other people could be involved, but they could only produce sketches of the four.

Underneath the sketches are grainy still pictures of the four men taken from the video. Authorities used the sketches because the still photos of the suspects are so poor.

"This was really shocking because we're supposed to defend the defenseless and these people are truly defenseless," said Anderson. "They cannot fight off an attacker. They don't have the ability to consent to this kind of activity."

Detectives say they have 11 DVDs that show the sexual assaults occurring at multiple locations. They believe the assaults most likely happened in the Southern California area, but they cannot be sure.

"The DVDs were dropped off here at Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau by hand," said L.A. County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott. "We've checked everything and we don't have anything to identify who dropped them off. We got the videos in March 2010 and those videos have been extensively gone over."

Detectives say some of the videos appear to have come from surveillance cameras at the different facilities, while others were handheld.

Detectives say one suspect shown in a still photograph taken from the video appears to be a paraplegic. They say he is in a victim's room. The victim's identity has been shielded.

"When he wheeled himself into the room, he used his arms to hoist himself onto the bed," said Anderson. "He engaged her in sexual activity, sexual assault."

Detectives believe the sexual assaults happened over the last three years.

They want to talk to the person who hand-delivered the DVDs to sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park in March 2010.

If you can identify any of the suspects in the sketches, please call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477).