A person used Instagram to focus on ladies and teenage boys whom he then raped and tried to extort, Los Angeles police say


A 21-year-old Los Angeles man described by police as a “serial rapist” has been arrested for allegedly attacking ladies and teenage ladies utilizing their very own social media accounts over a two-year interval, it was introduced on Wednesday officers.

Michael Neal Watson Jr. was arrested Nov. 8 and faces 16 felony fees, together with rape, assault, theft and tried extortion. He stays in custody in lieu of $1.7 million bond. In complete, a activity power recognized 12 incidents between June 19, 2020 and July 20, 2022, by which Watson allegedly dedicated crimes towards 13 ladies and 4 ladies underneath the age of 18.

“The incidents shared a standard methodology by which the suspect initiated communication with the victims by way of Instagram after which lured them to numerous places the place the victims had been sexually assaulted,” LAPD mentioned within the assertion.

The Watson investigation started in February, when the sheriff's division responded to a report of pressured rape and theft in Walnut, a suburban group east of Los Angeles. The suspect, later recognized as Watson, had been invited to an unnamed lady's home after assembly her on Instagram. When he arrived, he allegedly raped one of many two ladies in the home and stole their two cell telephones.

In line with police, Watson “recontacted one of many victims by way of social media and despatched him threatening messages. The suspect additionally accessed his telephone, impersonated the sufferer on social media and extorted cash from the sufferer by threatening to put up nude pictures obtained from his telephone.

Throughout the ensuing investigation, the assertion mentioned, “DNA proof has been obtained linking the suspect to related incidents reported in Los Angeles, Hollywood, East Los Angeles and Inglewood.”

In line with the legal criticism obtained by BuzzFeed Information, Watson faces 5 counts of second-degree theft, 4 counts of tried extortion and two counts of forcible rape. Watson was additionally charged with the forcible rape of a kid sufferer over the age of 14; assault with a firearm; aggravated sexual assault of a kid; grand theft; and unlawful sexual activity with a minor greater than three years youthful (than the alleged perpetrator).

His arrest is the results of a multi-agency investigation between the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Division, LAPD and Inglewood Police.

“Based mostly on the character of the offenses, detectives imagine there could also be further unidentified victims,” ​​Los Angeles police mentioned.



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