A 19-year-old Fountain Valley man has been charged with sexually assaulting at least six teen-age girls in the South County, the district attorney's office said.
Scott Joshua Vennum was arrested late last week in a Fountain Valley home on suspicion of sexually assaulting the girls, ages 13 to 15, Sheriff's Department Lt. Tom Garner said Wednesday.
If found guilty of the charges, which include forcible rape, oral copulation and abduction, Vennum would face up to 30 years in prison, Deputy Dist. Atty. Rosanne Froeberg said.
Sheriff's officials said they began their investigation in September 1995 after a 15-year-old victim disclosed some information to her psychologist, Garner said.
The psychologist then contacted authorities.
The investigation led officials to five other victims, who all knew one another, Garner said.
Authorities believe Vennum frequented South County areas where teenagers gather, struck up acquaintances with girls and then met them later.
"In some instances he met with them several times before assaulting them," Garner said. "In other cases he would commit the sexual assaults shortly after meeting a victim."
Some of the incidents were consensual, Garner said, adding that in those cases Vennum would face charges of statutory rape.
Vennum is scheduled to be arraigned March 24 in Municipal Court in Laguna Niguel.
Sheriff's officials ask anyone with additional information to call Investigator Wayne Quint at (714) 647-7419 or, after normal business hours, the watch commander at (714) 834-6490.