Surveillance camera video shows a California man allegedly kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in a Los Angeles neighborhood. The suspect is accused of sexually assaulting the teen in a public restroom.
Chilling video shows a man walking closely with the teen girl down a street in El Sereno on Tuesday. Video recorded by a closed-circuit television camera shows the suspect with his left arm draped over the girl's shoulder and neck while they walked down Klamath Street. His right hand is near the teen's abdomen – possibly pointing a weapon at the girl.
The suspect – identified by police as 27-year-old Edward William Banks from Los Angeles – allegedly forced the 14-year-old girl into a public restroom at El Sereno Park. Banks is accused of raping the teen in the restroom.
The Los Angeles Police Department said, "The suspect threatened the victim with a weapon and forced the victim into a bathroom. The suspect then proceeded to sexually assault the victim."
The suspect fled the park in an unknown direction after the alleged child sex abuse.
On Tuesday night, Banks was arrested by police less than a mile from the alleged crime scene of the sexual abuse. Local residents tipped off detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Juvenile Division after the LAPD released surveillance video of Banks to the public, according to KTLA.
Banks was charged with aggravated kidnapping to commit rape. His bail has been set at $1 million.
As of Oct. 8, there have been 1,063 rape attacks in Los Angeles in 2022, according to LAPD data. There were only 198 arrests for rape this year.
Total violent crimes are up by more than 11% since 2020.
Progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has faced criticism over his soft-on-crime governance.
On the first day of taking office in December 2020, Gascón immediately eliminated cash bail and banned prosecutors from seeking enhanced prison sentences.
There have been efforts to recall Gascón, but they have all failed. The latest recall effort in August fell short because there were not enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.
The Recall District Attorney George Gascón Committee claimed this week that valid signatures were rejected and voter rolls were inflated.
"The initial review of invalidated signatures demonstrates the Registrar’s counting process was seriously flawed, resulting in substantial errors, the wrongful invalidation of many valid signatures, and the disenfranchisement of thousands of Los Angeles County Voters," the committee said in a statement released on Monday.
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