Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa Clarita 19-Year Old Charged With 29 Sex Crimes Against 14 Teen Girls. Possible Additional Victims From Bail Bondsman In Santa Clarita

In early December, 2011, a female minor reported being sexually assaulted by 19-year old Suspect Michael Downs earlier in the year in the Santa Clarita Valley.

With this information, detectives with the Special Victims Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, began an investigation.

The investigation resulted in the identification of an additional 13 female teenage victims, between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. The 13 additional victims were also allegedly sexually assaulted by Suspect Downs.

Detectives learned that Suspect Downs met the victims at social events, public places and on Facebook. The assaults occurred throughout the year 2011 at various locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

The suspect met many of the victims on the social networking site Facebook. His alleged approach was befriending his victims on Facebook. He did so by claiming he was 16-years old and gaining their confidence in part by giving the names of other teen girls and saying he was friends with them. He would ultimately convince them to meet with him and then allegedly had sex with them.

"For over a week we have found new victims every day as we investigate these crimes," said Lieutenant Carlos Marquez, Sheriff's Special Victims Bureau. "We are asking the public to have some difficult discussions with their kids and contact us if there are more victims."

Sheriff's Special Victims Bureau investigators presented the facts of this case to the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney, which filed 29 felony counts of sexual assault by the suspect against 14 different girls.

As a result of the investigation, sheriff's detectives arrested Suspect Downs on December 15, 2011. He was booked at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station for the charges of felony committing Lewd Acts With A Child and Unlawful Sexual Intercourse, and is being held in lieu of bail of $1.8 million.

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