Groping Suspect Claimed Ties To Defunct Magazine To Lure Victims

Okay, we're not sure what the first clue would be that this suspected perv was not, as it would seem, legit: That he claimed to work for a magazine that no longer exists, or that he was posing as a big-time photographer ... while riding the Metro Blue Line train?!

Yeah, sure, Merc's in the shop. The suspect is alleged to have lured young women to secluded public places to "measure" them for possible modeling work for Vibe magazine, which closed in June. He then allegedly groped the complainants. But 22-year-old Keith Nichols "is not a photographer,'' said Los Angeles police Capt. Blake Chow. And, it appears, he didn't even break out a camera: He used measuring tape to assess the prospective models for what he was pitching as a custom-lingerie shoot, authorities allege.

Police say he approached women on the train. Those women, however, apparently referred him to their roommates. In two cases Nichols is alleged to have touched their bare breasts and groin areas in the process of "measuring" them, police say.

The women were not suspicious, however, until the suspect never followed up with a phone call.

"These crimes amount only to a misdemeanor at this point, but the potential for a more serious crime is there,'' Chow said.

He asked anyone with information about the case to call detectives at 213-972-1235.

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