Man Suspected Of Raping Mentally Disabled Woman Would Ride Buses Looking For Potential Victims
Authorities believe that a man suspected of raping a mentally disabled woman on the back of a Metro bus this week hunted for potential victims on public transportation."It was a crime of opportunity," sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott told the Los Angeles Times. "Unfortunately, [the victim] was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He followed her onto the bus and assaulted her."
The 18-year-old victim and the suspect were waiting for the 217 Metro Bus around 5 pm at the corner of La Cienega and Jefferson boulevards not far from the new Expo Line rail station, the Times reported. They got onto the bus at the same time and the attack occurred after they boarded.
"He immediately went to her and began the assault," Scott told the Times.
Kerry Trotter, 20, was arrested yesterday shortly after images taken by a surveillance camera that caught the attack were released to the public. Trotter was on probation, and he has a history of run-ins with the law. He was investigated on suspicion of sexual assault but he had never been charged. He was convicted of drug possession, grand theft and later violating the terms of his probation. He has served jail time, most recently after he was arrested in Redondo Beach this October (though the Times wasn't clear about what his most recent violation was).
Detectives believe Trotter rode the bus looking for victims, but it's not clear if they found evidence of other sexual assaults or attempted assaults.
Investigators who are working on the case spoke to concerns that no one seemed to notice the rape that went on for a full 10 minutes. Scott told the Times that it might not have been obvious what was happening at first. The suspect had his back to the nearly-empty bus, and the victim did not scream because "she was shocked, and didn't know what to do, and was in fear of her safety and her life."
Scott said, "People generally think of a rape as some kind of attack where someone's thrown down. It's not always the case."
Drivers who spoke to the Times say that while some of them are protective of their passengers, others say it's difficult to police their buses while focusing on the road.
Police are looking for a passenger who did seem to notice something was wrong in this most recent incident. Sheriff's Capt. Holly Perez told the Times that sometimes witnesses are afraid to interfere when a crime is going on.