Detectives are searching for a sex offender, paroled from prison in February, who they believe kidnaped and raped three Pacoima students recently, Los Angeles police said Tuesday.
The suspect, Robert Lee Donaldson, 34, was previously convicted of sexual assault on a minor, said Police Capt. James T. McBride of the Foothill Division.
Donaldson, who had been sentenced to serve 16 years in state prison, was paroled in February, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, which filed a 19-count felony warrant for Donaldson late Monday.
"It was also in the Pacoima area and involved boys," Gibbons said of the previous conviction.
Donaldson lives in the vicinity of the attacks, which occurred on Van Nuys Boulevard near Glenoaks Boulevard, and he eluded police several days ago, said McBride.
Police described Donaldson as an African-American, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds, with a partially shaved head, a mole on his nose and a tattoo of a snake with the words "Mr. Donaldson" on his left arm.
"We've had his name for a few days," McBride said. "We've been able to connect him to all three attacks."
McBride would not reveal how detectives arrived at Donaldson as a suspect. "We just pieced it together," he said. "He was one of several suspects we had in mind."
Growing frustration with unsuccessful stakeouts led the department to alert the public and seek help in apprehending Donaldson, said McBride, who warned that Donaldson should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone spotting Donaldson should immediately notify police, he said.
The three attacks occurred on the mornings of Aug. 30, Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, as the three children walked to school or bus stops in the 12600 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, according to police.
The first victim, an 11-year-old boy, was attacked Aug. 30 as he walked to Hillery T. Broadous Elementary School. A previous report that he was attacked Sept. 13 was incorrect, said McBride.
In the Sept. 21 attack, a 16-year-old girl was kidnaped as she walked toward a school bus stop, taken to a vacant apartment and raped. The following day, an 11-year-old girl, also a Broadous student, was taken to the same location and raped, according to police.
The attacks shocked and frightened parents in the neighborhood, and prompted school officials to mail warnings to parents not to allow their children to walk home alone. Scores of parents have been escorting their children home since the incident.