Man accused of 13 sexual assaults in LA area, other victims urged to come forward

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Thursday, December 1, 2022
Man accused of 13 sexual assaults in Los Angeles area
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Los Angeles County deputies have arrested a 21-year-old man they say sexually assaulted at least 13 women and girls.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County deputies have arrested a 21-year-old man they say sexually assaulted at least 13 women and girls, and authorities are asking any other potential victims to come forward.

Michael Neal Watson Jr., 21, is accused of sexually assaulting nine women and four female minors at gunpoint. They say in some cases, he also stole their phones and used their contact lists to find more victims.

Watson first came to the attention of investigators in February of last year when they took a sexual-assault report in the city of Walnut. Inglewood police and the Los Angeles Police Department also worked with the sheriff's department tracking his alleged crime spree.

They say he would take some of the victims' phones at gunpoint after sexually assaulting them.

According to investigators, Watson would force the victims to give him their usernames and codes to get access to their phone contacts and allegedly find more victims to sexually assault and rob.

In some cases, he contacted the victims with promises of fame. In others, he allegedly resorted to extortion.

"Every victim had a different angle," said Sgt. Joe Ramos with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "One of them was to become a superstar on the internet, a model. Mr. Watson was very savvy depending on who he was talking to. And if he had pictures of victims on their cell phone, some nude pictures, he would extort them. Whatever information he was able to get from a victim he used that to lure them in."

Watson was arrested earlier this month. Detectives are convinced he's victimized more women and they are asking other victims to come forward.

He remains in custody on bail set at $1.7 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for January.

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