Sexual assault suspect groping women's thighs on UCLA campus

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A search is underway for a sexual assault suspect who is targeting women on the UCLA campus in Westwood.

Campus police said the suspect groped three different women on Thursday as they walked on school grounds between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The incidents occurred at Westwood Boulevard and Le Conte Avenue, Young Drive East at Murphy Hall, and Young Drive South at the Gonda building.

The suspect tried to grab the victims' thighs as he walked by them. The victims told authorities they had similar incidents with the same suspect several weeks ago.

The suspect is described as an Asian male between 18 and 22 years old. He has a tan complexion, medium build and short, black hair.

He was seen wearing a white polo shirt with thin horizontal stripes, dark gray pants, tennis shoes with white soles, a black backpack and glasses.

This latest report comes on the heels of another more violent attack on the campus on the same day.

Shortly before 5 a.m., a UCLA student was jogging on Veteran Avenue near Sunset Boulevard when a suspect grabbed her from behind and attempted to sexually assault her while holding a knife.

The student was able to escape and report the attack.

That suspect was described as being approximately 6 feet tall with a medium to large build.

Police do not believe this attack is connected with the groping incidents.

The attacks are putting students on edge.

"To know that other students like me who just are going about their own business were attacked, that's like really disturbing," said Stacey Soto, a UCLA student.

Many students say they have a false sense of security walking in and around campus, and they say they're not always aware of their surroundings.

"I have to admit I usually have my headphones in, and I know like a lot of other people do, too. So it kind of does make it hard to be aware of if someone is creeping up behind you," said Laura Pedrotti, another student.

If you have any information about these incidents, you're urged to contact the UCLA Police Department at (310) 825-1491.
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