Police: LA Predator Posing As Modeling Scout May Have More Victims
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A man accused of luring a teenage girl into his car with promises of a modeling job and then attempting to assault her may have approached a woman two days earlier, a detective said Tuesday.
Shota Mgeladze, 33, remains jailed on a felony count of assault with intent to commit a felony involving the Nov. 29 run-in with the girl as police try to determine whether there are any more alleged victims.
“I have one lady that’s going to be coming in this week. I don’t know yet exactly what happened,” said Los Angeles police Detective Kim Porter, who noted that the woman came forward before information was released about Mgeladze’s arrest.
Mgeladze was taken into custody about 6:45 p.m. Nov. 29, about three hours after the teen told police that a man drove up in a two-door 2002 Mercedes-Benz CL 55 with paper plates as she was standing outside a school in the 600 block of Fifth Avenue in Venice.
The man, later identified as Mgeladze, allegedly used a ruse to get the girl into his car. Once she sat down in the passenger seat, he drove off.
Mgeladze allegedly asked the girl if he could take nude photographs of her and pulled over to the curb. Police allege he then reached over, grabbed the girl’s left leg and tried to pull her toward him. She told investigators that she kicked him in the face and shoulder and got out of the car and ran.
On Monday, the LAPD released a photo of Mgeladze and asked that anyone he victimized step forward and contact Porter at (213) 473-0447.
Mgeladze has pleaded not guilty in connection with the alleged attack on the teen and is due back at the Airport Branch Courthouse Dec. 16, when a date for a preliminary hearing is to be scheduled.
His bail in the case has been set at $175,000, but it’s doubtful he’ll be released any time soon since federal authorities have issued an immigration hold requiring him to remain incarcerated.
Mgeladze has had other brushes with the law and was set to appear in Beverly Hills Superior Court today on an unrelated misdemeanor case.
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