Southern California breaking news and trends

Woman walking home on Melrose Avenue is attacked and raped in an alley

police tape

Photo by Harvey K via Flickr Creative Commons

The Fairfax District is shaken this morning after a woman was pulled into an alley and forcibly raped last night as she walked home on busy Melrose Avenue, police said.

CBS reports that the victim left The Darkroom bar, located at 7302 Melrose Ave. near Poinsettia Place, just after midnight to make the short walk back to her home when the attack occurred.

Police have issued a predator alert, and they are asking women to walk in lighted areas and avoid places where they might be vulnerable, such as darkened alleys -- even in this trendy area known for its nice restaurants and boutique shops.

Police said they were still searching for a suspect. No other information was immediately available.




Fullerton man gets 764 years for series of brutal rapes

Robert Charles Lee

A serial rapist convicted of 11 attacks on women in L.A. and Orange counties will never know freedom again after a judge sentenced him to 764 years in prison today.

Robert Charles Lee, 42, of Fullerton, was convicted in March of three-dozen counts stemming from a series of rapes against 10 different women between 1997 and 2006. Prosecutors from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office announced the ruling today by Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler, who decided Lee should be put away for 764 years and eight months to life in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Martha Carrillo said Lee attacked his victims in their homes and sexually assaulted them, one of them twice and many of them at knifepoint. His victims ranged in age from 32 to 80, and most were elderly and disabled, according to Carrillo. Four were from Orange County and six from Los Angeles County.


Raw-egg ‘healer’ accused of raping woman in Santa Ana

Alberto Flores Ramirez

A self-described spiritual healer whose methods involve “cleansing” with raw eggs turned out to be a rapist instead, according to Santa Ana police.

The Orange County Register reports that 36-year-old Alberto Flores Ramirez of San Clemente met his alleged victim, a 33-year-old Simi Valley woman, on the dating website Badoo. Police say that during their online correspondence, the woman revealed that she yearned to bring her children into the U.S. from Mexico, and Ramirez told her he had the answer: spiritual cleansing.

The two met face-to-face at a McDonald’s in Santa Ana on April 3, according to police, and Ramirez talked her into getting a room with him at the Aloha Motel on Main Street in Santa Ana.

Ramirez then began his idea of spiritual cleansing: a mysterious procedure -- could it be this? -- involving a raw egg. What exactly the procedure was, or how it would bring the woman’s children north from Mexico, remains unclear.