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Police say exposure crimes unrelated

Ben Godar

Following a month in which no incidents of indecent exposure were

reported, higher than usual numbers were reported in April. Police,

though, say the incidents are unrelated.

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Six reports of a man exposing himself were filed in April, police

said. Nearly all of the instances involve a man inside a car pulling

up alongside a woman or girl, exposing himself and driving away. The

victims have all been females between 14 and 36.

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While the frequency of the incidents is unusually high, Sgt.

Bruce Speirs said it does not appear that one person is behind the

crimes.

“We have different vehicle descriptions, different suspect

descriptions and the targeted victims are not of one particular

category,” he said. “Nothing points to one individual or group of

individuals.”

The six exposures is nearly double the monthly average for 2002,

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when 44 such crimes -- or 3.7 per month -- were reported.

Victims of indecent exposure don’t always report the incidents,

which can be a traumatic experience, especially for women who have

been sexually assaulted, said Jennifer Luck, spokeswoman for the Los

Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women.

“On the continuum of sexual violence, it may be at the front end

-- but it is still a form of sexual assault,” she said.

Speirs said it is difficult to arrest those suspected of indecent

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exposure for a variety of reasons. Because victims tend to look away

after such an incident, police rarely get accurate suspect or vehicle

descriptions, he said.

Most who expose themselves do so far outside their own community,

Speirs said, adding that when police do get an accurate vehicle

description they rarely encounter the culprits again.

Anyone who has been the victim of an assault can call the

commission at (626) 793-3385.


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