UPDATE at 3:38 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2016: Charges have been filed in the Santa Monica, West L.A. and Beverly Hills cases. See details at the bottom. Originally posted at 4:13 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
A suspect was arrested in a string of Westside rapes and assaults, including a July 2 attack that shocked a West L.A. neighborhood, according to police.
Pablo Carlos Pineda, 32, was arrested about 5:15 p.m. yesterday in L.A.'s Westlake district, the Santa Monica Police Department announced this afternoon.
A task force that included the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, Santa Monica Police Department and the Beverly Hills Police Department has linked Pineda to the crimes via forensic evidence and other “information,” according to the Santa Monica department.
Pineda is believed to be responsible for sexual assaults on the Santa Monica beach on Jan. 13 and Feb. 5 and for the July 2 sexual attack in the 1300 block of Westgate Avenue in the city of L.A.'s Sawtelle neighborhood, Santa Monica authorities said.
He also is accused of “a violent attack,” which police previously described as nonsexual, in the 9000 block of Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills on April 15, cops said.
Pineda was booked in the Santa Monica cases only, police said. He was jailed based on allegations of rape, assault with intent to commit rape and assault by means of producing great bodily injury, according to the Santa Monica department.
The West L.A. and Beverly Hills allegations likely will be considered later by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, police said.
The suspect was being held in lieu of $385,000 bail.
A July 4 sexual assault on Westgate Avenue in the Sawtelle community now is believed to be unconnected to the suspect, according to police.
A prowler suspect nabbed by Santa Monica cops last weekend was investigated for any possible connections to the Westside attacks but was ruled out as a suspect, according to police.
Investigators are searching for any possible further victims. Witnesses are also asked to come forward. Those with information are urged to call Santa Monica police at (310) 458-8218.
UPDATE at 3:36 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2016: The L.A. County District Attorney's Office has filed the following allegations against Pineda: three counts of forcible rape, two counts each of suspicion of assault with intent to commit a sex crime, kidnapping and second-degree robbery, and one count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon.
The allegations cover a “sexual attack” in Santa Monica Jan. 13 and a “rape” there Feb. 5, prosecutors said.
“During a third attack in Beverly Hills on April 15, the alleged victim was beaten with a brick and suffered great bodily injury,” the office said in a statement.
The July 2 crime in West L.A. included an alleged kidnapping and rape, prosecutors said.
The suspect was being held in lieu of $2.63 million. He faces the possibility of 25 years behind bars if he's successfully prosecuted.
Arraignment was scheduled today.
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