LOS ANGELES – A second alleged victim has come forward in the Southern California investigation into videotaped sexual assaults of severely disabled women, authorities said.
The 27-year-old woman recognized one of the suspects, Ernie Lloyd, in news coverage, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Friday.
The woman said another suspect, Bert Hicks, sexually assaulted her multiple times between 2007 and 2009 when she lived in a housing facility he operated.
Sheriff's officials also said Friday that they served search warrants at three residences as part of the ongoing investigation, the Los Angeles Times reported. Details of the warrants were not released.
Another woman came forward Monday and said she was assaulted by Lloyd a few years ago at a residential care facility in Los Angeles where they both previously lived. Sheriff's officials say she has physical disabilities that leave her defenseless.
Lloyd was arrested Jan. 8 after surrendering to police.
At least 10 victims appeared in more than 100 hours of video that a man anonymously delivered to sheriff's headquarters in suburban Monterey Park last March.
But prosecutors said the videos alone are not sufficient evidence, telling Sheriff's Department detectives that they need to provide more facts about the women's medical histories, level of disabilities and other information.
"In order to effect a filing, we would either have to prove that the victim did not consent to the sexual acts or she was unable to consent to the sexual acts," the district attorney's office wrote in a memo obtained by the Times. "There is insufficient evidence to prove either of these theories beyond a reasonable doubt."
The woman who came forward Monday also claimed that Hicks married her and took her back to a care facility where she was sexually assaulted by him and Lloyd, investigators said. Hicks, 42, is serving a sentence at Tehachapi State Prison on two felony sex counts and two abuse counts. He is scheduled to be released next year.
The videos, received in the mail, show men sexually assaulting physically and mentally disabled women, some of them in diapers. Officials said it took months for investigators to digitally enhance the grainy footage and produce pictures and artist sketches of the suspects.
Authorities are still seeking two other men seen on the tapes.
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