Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Lady Beware: He's not a Photographer NR09560pvLos Angeles: Los Angeles detectives have released the photograph and name of a wanted 22-year-old man from South Los Angeles, who is suspected in at least four sexual battery assaults against young women while posing as a Vibe Magazine photographer.
“Keith Nichols is not a photographer,” said Captain Blake Chow, commanding officer of Central Police Station. “All young women, especially those riding local trains, need to know Nichols is a fraud and potentially dangerous.”
Since early October, four women have reported meeting Nichols and submitting to a personal examination by him to “measure” their most intimate body parts for “custom-fitted underwear.” Allegedly, Nichols told each woman that if their measurements were good enough, they could get a modeling job for Vibe Magazine. The measuring sessions often occurred spontaneously in secluded, public places, where Nichols used a measuring tape as a prop. While none of the woman recalled him taking photographs, Nichols did touch the women’s bare breasts and groins with his hands.
“These crimes amount only to a misdemeanor at this point,” Chow added, “but the potential for a more serious crime is there. We don’t know how many women Nichols has approached, how many have submitted, or if he has committed more serious crimes. Our goal today is to educate, warn, and stop this activity before it becomes more aggravated.”
In two separate cases, Nichols met his victims on the light-rail line between Long Beach and Los Angeles. Each of these women referred a roommate to Nichols. All the women hoped to score a modeling job. Each realized she had been duped when Nichols never returned phone calls.
“The lure of Hollywood and a big career in modeling blinded these girls from reality,” Chow said. “That’s what con-artists rely on.”
Keith Nichols may be working as a security guard. He has lived in Compton, Hawthorne and South Los Angeles. He is 5’11 and weighs 140 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Central Division detectives at 213-972-1235. Callers can also phone the 24-hour number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.