An 18-year-old Covina man accused of attacking and groping five women, including a pregnant women, in the unincorporated county area near Covina since late 2012 is behind bars and awaiting trial, authorities announced Thursday.
Alex Lorenzo Sandoval pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court to multiple counts of assault and sexual battery, Los Angeles County Superior Court officials said.
Deputies arrested him June 20 in connection with a series of five attacks on women dating back to December of 2012, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg said in a written statement. Some of the charges were filed in juvenile court, as the alleged offenses occurred prior to Sandoval’s 18th birthday.
“During subsequent interviews, Sandoval admitted to committing all of these acts and wrote a letter of apology,” Berg said.
Sandoval’s arrest came after the victim of his most recent allege attack on April 11, 2014, spotted her previous assailant following her in the 21100 block of Nubia Street, Berg said. She called sheriff’s deputies, who found and arrested Sandoval at an apartment complex in the 21000 block of Arrow Highway.
In the attack two months prior, Sandoval approached the 47-year-old woman from behind, covered her mouth and groped her buttocks, Berg said.
A similar unprovoked attack took place April 14, 2013, in the area of Cienega Avenue and Treanor Street, sheriff’s officials said.
“A man approached her from behind, pushed her into a wall and tot he ground and kicked her while she was on the ground,” Berg said. The 30-year-old woman was five months pregnant at the time of the assault.
Another woman, 29, was attacked in the same area on Feb. 25, 2013, he said. In that case, an attacker approached her from behind, covered her mouth, pushed her into a wall and fondled her. He fled when a passing driver honked a car horn.
Women also reported strikingly similar attacks on Jan. 25, 2013, and Dec. 20, 2012, at the same apartment complex in the 21000 block of Arrow Highway. Both women were in their 20s.
A sketch of the serial groper was released by sheriff’s deputies in April of 2013 following the first four incidents. Sandoval was interviewed as a potential suspect, however none of the victims were able to identify him from a photographic line-up, and no arrest was made, Berg said. “Female detectives walked the area in hopes of luring the suspect, to no avail.”
Sandoval was scheduled to return to Pomona Superior Court July 17 for a preliminary hearing setting, court officials said.
He was being held without bail.
PHOTO/SKETCH courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department