The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

LASD: Santa Clarita Teen Had Sex with Minors He Met on Facebook

A 19-year-old Santa Clarita resident is accused of having sex with at least 14 minor girls he met on Facebook, reports KTLA News.

Michael Downs was arrested on Dec. 15 and his bail was set at $1.8 million. He was charged with 29 counts of sexual assault of a minor.

Under California law, unlawful sex with a minor can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and is punishable by a maximum of four years in prison if convicted of the felony charge. In addition, the adult may be liable for civil penalties up to a maximum of $25,000 for unlawful sex with a minor under the age of 16.

Santa Ana One of America's Safest Cities; L.A. Getting Better

The town of Santa Ana may only be a little more than half-an-hour’s drive away from the city of Los Angeles, but it’s enough distance to create a drastic change in environment.

Santa Ana has been ranked as the fourth-safest city in America, according to Forbes.

The ranking was calculated by analyzing data from metropolises with populations above 250,000. Forbes looked at both the FBI’s violent crime rates and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s traffic-fatality rates. The data was then averaged for each city to achieve final scores.

Santa Ana was fourth in traffic-fatality rates and eleventh in violent crime rates, placing it fourth overall.

Edison Shooting: Two Killed, Two Wounded by Edison Employee

A horrific shooting at a Southern California Edison building in Irwindale left two employee victims dead and two in critical condition, reports KTLA News.

Police believe 48-year-old Andre Turner, also an employee at Edison, shot the four victims on Friday afternoon before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the shooting, but witnesses told KTLA that Turner seemed to be targeting specific people.

“He told people to leave and he was very deliberate about who he shot,” an employee said. “He did not like management.”

CDC: Nearly One in Five U.S. Women Raped, One in Four Attacked

In a sobering study released on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly one in five American women has been raped at least once and one in four has been severely attacked by an intimate partner, reports KTLA News.

If true, the startling statistic means that rape affects almost every family in America.

The survey, which is reportedly the first of its kind, questioned 18,049 men and women in 2010. It also found that almost 80 percent of female victims were first raped before the age of 25. In addition, more than half were committed by a current or former partner, and one in eight female victims were raped by a family member.

Tyler Brehm Shooting: Hollywood Rampage Claims Death Row Executive

One of Death Row Records most famous artists, Tupac Shakur, once wrote in his ode to Los Angeles, To Live and Die in L.A.: “It’s the City of Angels and constant danger.”

For former Death Row Records Vice President John Atterberry, the danger came swift and shockingly as he drove his Mercedes Benz down Vine Street in Hollywood into the path of alleged gunman Tyler Brehm. Police say Brehm opened fire early Friday morning on passing motorists before he was shot and killed himself, according to KTLA News.

Teen Arrested for Criminal Threat to Send Catholic School to Hell

It’s common for teenagers to hate high school. Apparently, it’s also criminal for them to broadcast that hate on YouTube.

A sophomore at Torrance’s Bishop Montgomery High School was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats after a YouTube video was found threatening violence at the school, reports KTLA News.

The video reportedly included a voice stating: “Bishop Montgomery shall fall. It shall decline. It shall never be the same. It will bounce, bounce, bounce to (expletive) hell and beyond.”

Wife Allegedly Tried to Cut Off Husband's Penis with Scissors

Palm Springs resident Virginia Valdez is under arrest on charges of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and spousal abuse for allegedly trying to cut her husband’s penis off with scissors, reports KTLA News.

Police received a report of an assault at her Palm Springs home Saturday evening and arrived to find a 62-year-old man with injuries to his genital area, according to KTLA.

The man reportedly told them his wife had attacked him with a pair of scissors, which police found in the home. News reports did not say what prompted the 67-year-old to attack.

Naked Man Critically Injures Couple in 'Roid-Rage' Fueled Attack

A violent encounter with a 300-pound, naked body builder left a Colton couple with critical injuries after he beat them in a suspected “roid-rage”-and-drug-fueled attack, reports The San Bernardino County Sun.

The incident occurred late Saturday when the couple arrived at their North Pennsylvania Avenue home to find 22-year-old Ruben Arzu naked on their porch. While the wife called the police, Arzu allegedly attacked her husband and caused major head trauma and injuries, according to Colton police Cpl. Ray Mendez.

Arzu then reportedly attacked the woman, throwing her and causing facial injuries. Although he tried to flee after the attack, neighbors surrounded the suspect in another home’s backyard.

Five Sex Offenders Arrested During 'Operation Safe Halloween'

County officials announced on Tuesday that five registered sex offenders were arrested during "Operation Safe Halloween," a Halloween sweep intended to keep children safe, reports CBS Los Angeles.

The four-day operation was conducted by 40 probation officers who visited 251 homes of registered sex offenders to check if they were violating their probation. Registered sex offenders in Los Angeles County are prohibited from putting up Halloween decorations or otherwise enticing children to come to their homes. Officers found 229 probationers at home.

Mother's Talk on Sandusky Scandal Brings Sitter Abuse to Light?

The emerging details of sexual abuse possibly perpetrated by Penn State employee Jerry Sandusky on young boys are horrific, but they may also have saved two Glendale boys from the same fate.

After their mother discussed a news story about the Sandusky child molestation investigation with her eldest son, he reportedly told his mother that their babysitter had sexually assaulted the two, reports the Pasadena Star-News.

Will Black Friday Pepper Spray Suspect Face Criminal Charges?

Along with the tradition of door-busting sale prices on Black Friday is the less-wanted custom of body-busting violence that accompanies the search for the best deal. Battles rage on in the aisles as consumers push, shove, and attack others for the coveted discounts. These contests of will may end in victory, but they also often end in arrests.

This year, Black Friday violence was epitomized by an alleged pepper spray attack at a Porter Ranch Walmart by an unknown assailant trying to buy a video game console. Despite the violent nature of the woman's shopping tactic, it may be difficult to charge her with a crime, reports the Los Angeles Times.