Local News in Brief : Studio Owner Arrested

The owner of a Hollywood modeling studio was arrested for investigation of rape Wednesday after an aspiring model claimed that she was photographed in designer fashions and then forced onto a couch and sexually assaulted.

Los Angeles police said Ross Washington, 55, owner of Starmaker International and producer of the Miss West Coast Beauty Pageant, was arrested at his offices on Sunset Boulevard.

"We have investigated three similar complaints against Mr. Washington in the past year and a half," Hollywood Division Detective David Lambkin said. "But this is the first time we have filed charges."

Washington is to be arraigned today on one count of rape, two counts of rape with a foreign object and one count of attempted oral copulation, police said. The charges were brought by a 29-year-old Laguna Beach woman who answered a newspaper advertisement and posed at Washington's studios Jan. 14.

Police said Washington was released from state prison in early 1986 after serving about five years of an eight-year sentence for raping a Los Angeles-area woman who believed that she was to try out for a film role, Lambkin said.

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