LA County officials seek additional victims of sexual assault suspects in separate cases

Christiane Cordero Image
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
LA County officials seek additional victims of sexual assault suspects
Sexual assault is widely considered one of the most underreported crimes, yet more than 3,800 sexual assaults were reported in L.A. County in 2022, the most recent year with complete data.

Law enforcement officials from Los Angeles County have asked anyone victimized by two men in custody to contact local police immediately.

L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon on Tuesday announced the arrest and charges of two men: 55-year-old Martin Lopez and 35-year-old Marcos Maldonado. The cases are separate and unrelated to each other, though both are charged with sexual assault.

Lopez is accused to impersonating a police officer when he approached a woman at her vehicle on Dec. 27 of last year. Her vehicle was parked outside of a Long Beach restaurant.

Prosecutors arrested Lopez earlier this month and charged him with sexual battery, robbery and attempted kidnapping. They believe a good Samaritan intervened and are asking that person to come forward to help with the investigation.

Officials say they searched Lopez's vehicle via a search warrant and recovered a fake law enforcement badge, among other things. He's being held on a $2.4 million bail.

Meanwhile, Maldonado is accused of walking into a Culver City home early morning on Dec. 2.

Prosecutors in that case say he raped a 12-year-old girl who was sleeping in her bedroom, and that he was there for hours before leaving around 7 a.m.

In a previous interview, the girl's parents told ABC7 their daughter went downstairs to ask for help when she felt it was safe. She said the intruder told her a sniper at the window would kill her and her family if she said anything.

The man entered the home through an unlocked sliding glass door. Investigators do not believe he knew his victim. Maldonado is being held on a $1.8 million bail.

Both men have a criminal history. Lopez was convicted of four serious and/or violent felonies in the '90s and early 2000s in L.A. County. Maldonado's convictions are in Kern County.

Gascon believes the actual number of crimes committed is inaccurate.

"There's some incidents (where) he was arrested, and the cases were not filed, for sexually related conduct," said Gascon of Maldonado. "So we believe this may be a pattern that goes back many years."

Lopez's felonies do include sexually violent crimes.

Sexual assault is widely considered one of the most underreported crimes, yet more than 3,800 sexual assaults were reported in L.A. County in 2022, the most recent year with complete data. Reports of the crime are trending down slightly compared to peaks in 2018, with 4,500 incidents reported.