An 18-year-old Covina man has allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting at five women during a time period that spanned a year and a half.
Alexander Lorenzo Sandoval was charged earlier this week with sexual battery and felony assault.
Sandoval was arrested June 20 after a woman reported that a suspect who had assaulted her in April was once again following her down the street.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded and found Sandoval at the complex in the 21000 block of Arrow Highway. The 47-year-old woman identified him as the man who had been following her. She also identified him as the man who attacked her April 11 as she was walking near Nubia Street and Treanor Avenue in Covina.
- Download: Download the NBCLA Mobile App
In that incident, Sandoval allegedly approached her from behind at about 8:30 p.m., covered her mouth and groped her buttocks.
Deputies thought Sandoval bore a resemblance to the sketch of a suspect wanted in four other similar assaults, and questioned him about the attacks after his arrest. He had been questioned about them previously, but none of the victims were able to identify him.
"Most of the time he was approaching the victims from behind, and it was dark, so the descriptions were kind of general, kind of vague," said Lt. Andy Berg of the sheriff's department's San Dimas station. "Most of them remembered he had glasses."
Investigators said Sandoval admitted to four previous assaults. All of the attacks were either at the same apartment complex or within a mile and a half.
Berg said Sandoval is a resident of the building.
A 28-year-old woman went to the carport of her apartment complex about 10:15 p.m. Dec. 20, 2012 to retrieve a laptop from her car. A man approached her from behind, covered her mouth and rubbed against her in a sexual manner. When she tried to escape, he pushed her against the car and then to the ground.
On Feb. 25, 2013, at about 8:35 a.m., a 29-year-old woman was jogging on Cienega Avenue near Treanor Street when a man approached her from behind, covered her mouth and fondled her. The attacker fled on foot when a passer-by honked the horn of their car.
Less than two months later, a 30-year-old woman was walking in the same neighborhood when a man approached her from behind just after 8 a.m.
The five-months-pregnant victim was pushed into a wall and to the ground, when the suspect then kicked her.
"(Sandoval) was questioned then, but he denied it and the witnesses couldn't identify him. Then nothing happened for all that time," Berg said of the more than year gap between reported crimes.
According to a sheriff’s department statement, Sandoval has written a letter of apology. Some of the charges pending against him are in juvenile court, as some of the incidents occurred before his 18th birthday.
He is being held without bail and will next appear in court July 17.