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News Release

Wednesday, May 26, 1999

Media Relations

Sexual Battery Suspect Spiderman Captured

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, May 26, 1999

Between February of 1997 and May of 1999, the Los Angeles Police Department, West Valley Area received two Attempt Rapes, six Sexual Batteries and four Indecent Exposure reports from the Canoga Park and Reseda areas. By MO and the suspect descriptions, it was determined that the same individual was responsible for all these crimes. The suspect approached primarily Hispanic women and advised them that they had a spider or animal on their clothing. The suspect would then offer to remove the spider or animal and in doing so would sexually batter the victims. In five of the occurrences the Suspect approached the Victims inside a Laundromat, five occurred on the street and two inside dental offices. After confronting the victims, the suspect would expose himself and then flee on foot.

West Valley Detectives identified Rosalio "Leo" Garcia, age 29, a former handyman employed at several of the Laundromats as a possible suspect. A photographic line-up was shown to several victims' and Garcia was positively identified.

On May 18th, 1999, West Valley Detectives arrested Mr. Garcia for Attempted Rape. During an arrest interview, Garcia admitted to two of the incidents and behavior consistent with the other incidents.

The arrest and investigation was presented to the District Attorney in Van Nuys. Eight felony, sexual battery counts were filed against Garcia. Garcia is currently being held in lieu of $200,000.00 bail.

This arrest concludes a two-year sex crime investigation into the activities of a suspect dubbed as the "Spiderman."

West Valley Detectives are requesting any additional victims or witnesses to contact Detective Blizzard or Robbins at 818-756-8553.



For Release 11:30 pm PST
May 26, 1999



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