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Police Hunt At Least 8 Men For Raping Severely Disabled Women

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

(UPDATE (01/07/2011) Authorities say one of the men suspected of sexually assaulting one or more severely disabled women captured on video is already serving a sentence for sexual assault.
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LOS ANGELES (CBS)  — Sheriff’s investigators are on the hunt for a group of men suspected of sexually assaulting at least 10 severely disabled women.

A computer hard drive obtained from an anonymous source contained more than 100 hours of video footage showing at least 10 women being sexually assaulted by at least eight men, said Sgt. Darren Harris of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

It’s not known where and when the attacks took place, but Harris said there were at least several locations and at least one was a residential care facility.

“All of the victims appear to be severely disabled,” Harris said.

“The extremely disturbing videos are not being released to the public, but photos from portions of the video are being released in an effort to identify some of the suspects.”

Images of the victims will not be released, he said.

“Detectives from the Special Victims Bureau are concerned that these sexual assaults might still be occurring,” Sgt. Dan Scott said. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department welcomes information that can lead to stopping these criminals.”

Sgt. Dan Scott said some of the attacks depicted on the computer drive — which was obtained by sheriff’s detectives last March — involved forcible attacks carried out with no consent from disabled victims. He described one attack that appeared to have been carried out by an attacker who was a paraplegic in some type of hospital or care facility.

“When he wheeled himself the room, he used his arms to hoist himself onto the bed,” Scott said. “He removed his diaper. He removed the diaper of the victim. He engaged her in sexual activity, sexual assault. He then hoisted himself onto the floor, scooted across the floor, out the doorway and disappeared from the camera’s view.”

Anyone with information about the assaults was asked to contact the Special Victims Bureau at (866) 247-5877. Sheriff’s officials said they would also like to talk to the person who dropped off the footage, insisting the person can remain anonymous.

“This was really shocking because we’re supposed to defend the defenseless,” Detective Ron Anderson said. “And these people are truly defenseless. They cannot fight off an attacker. They don’t have the ability to consent to this kind of activity.”

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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