LAPD continues seeking man who sexually assaulted woman in Santa Monica Mountains

Three law enforcement officials in a police station
Los Angeles Police Department Det. Joseph Hampton, center, speaks to the media Monday at the West Valley Station in Reseda.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department is continuing to search for the man who sexually assaulted a female hiker two weeks ago in the Santa Monica Mountains near Encino.

The woman was attacked while she was hiking along the Upper Canyonback Trail in the 17000 block of Mulholland Drive around noon on Nov. 21, police said in a release.

Det. Joseph Hampton said during a Monday news conference that the attack occurred between Tampa Avenue and Reseda Boulevard.

The woman was approached by a white or Latino man, about 30 years old, with a 2-inch scar on his right forearm, and he sexually assaulted her in a secluded area, Hampton said. Further description of the suspect was not available Monday morning.


“The suspect did have a knife with him at the time the crime was committed, though he didn’t use the knife during the commission of the crime,” Hampton said.

No security footage of the attack was available; patrols have been increased in the area as police continue their investigation, Hampton said. No sexual assaults have been reported in that area in recent years, police said.

Authorities have urged the public to exercise caution when hiking near that location.

“If you are going to use the hills and the trails in the surrounding areas, I ask that you hike in pairs and let somebody know where exactly you’re going,” Hampton said. “Bring your cellphone with you. Not only is it a good habit to have so you can make cell phone calls, but you could also send out distress locations with a drop of a pin to to friends and family if something happens to you out in that area.”