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Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Arrest of Serial Rapist

Police have arrested a man who they believe is responsible for committing a series of sexual assaults involving numerous women throughout LA County.

Detectives from the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau, the LA Police Department, and the Inglewood Police Department are investigating a man they believe has been involved in multiple sexual assaults over a two-year period.

On Feb. 2, 2021, the LA County Sheriff’s deputies that were assigned to the Walnut Sheriff’s Station responded to the 17000 block of Colima Road in the city of Walnut for calls of a forcible rape involving two women and a man.

The man had been invited to one of the woman’s house after he met them on social media.

Once he was there he forcibly raped one of the women and robbed them of their cell phones.

He fled the scene in a dark gray sedan and later re-contacted one of the women on social media and sent her threatening messages.

He also accessed her phone and impersonated her.

The case was assigned to detectives for follow-up investigation.

During police investigation there was DNA evidence that was obtained that linked the man to similar reported incidents within LA, Hollywood, East LA, and Inglewood.

The incidents all shared a common methodology where the man initiated communication with women on social media then lured them to various locations. After meeting up with them he sexually assaulted them.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau detectives worked in collaboration with detectives from the LA Police Department and Inglewood Police Department and identified 12 separate incidents spanning over a two-year period.

Thirteen women were identified and four of them were minors.

The man was identified by police as 21-year-old Michael Watson Jr. from LA.

On Sept. 16, 2022 detectives presented their cases to the LA County DA’s office for consideration of a criminal complaint filing.

A few days later on Sept. 27 the DA filed 16 felony counts including one count of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child under 14, three counts of Forcible Rape, one count of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, four counts of Attempted Extortion, and one count of Grand Theft.

An arrest warrant was issued by the court.

Detectives from the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau Fugitive Task Force arrested Watson in Antelope Valley on Nov. 8, 2022.

Two days later Watson was arraigned at the Compton Courthouse.

He currently remains in custody and his bail has been set at $1,790,000. His next scheduled court date is Jan. 1, 2023.

Based on the nature of the offenses, detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims. Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying any such victims.  

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Special Victims Bureau is tasked with investigating the sexual and physical abuse of children and felonious sexual assaults involving adult victims.  Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll-free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at [email protected]

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