Developments continue to unfold in the shocking case of videotaped sexual assaults of persons with disabilities turned in to the Sheriff’s Department, with the first victim located on Monday by state investigators.
The 25-year old woman is currently a resident of a care facility within Los Angeles County. Her medical conditions have caused her to be physically defenseless; however, she was able to communicate with detectives. The young woman confirmed to detectives that years ago she had been the victim of sexual assaults at a residential care facility in the City of Los Angeles. This had already been identified by Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau detectives, thanks to information provided by detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department.
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Her interview on Monday with Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau detectives was very emotional and painful for her and detectives described her as very traumatized. She is being provided with victim assistance and said she feels safe at the residential care facility where she is now living. Sheriff’s detectives will not be releasing any information about the residence where the victim is located and are asking that everyone respect her desire for privacy and to feel safe where she now lives.
In the interview, she alleged that a few years ago she was sexually assaulted by Ernie Lloyd (Suspect #1) at the residence where they both previously lived. Detectives presented the case of Suspect Lloyd to the District Attorney, but were informed that they need more medical information than they currently have in order to file the case. Additional information is being collected by detectives and will be presented for consideration today.
During her interview with detectives, the victim further described her extreme fear of Bert Hicks (Suspect #4), who is currently in prison for crimes against her. The name of Victim #1 had been determined by detectives on Saturday, but when they went to speak to her, she was no longer staying in the residential care facility where the assaults had occurred. As the identities of people involved in this case are confirmed, and locations of occurrence are narrowed down, more and more law enforcement and social services agencies are participating in this extensive investigation.
State, city, county and federal investigators are working with Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to investigate this extraordinary and tragic case.
Hicks, 41, is now serving a state prison sentence in Tehachapi for fiduciary crimes, abuse and sexual assault against victim #1 in a residential care facility in the city of Los Angeles. That case was investigated by Los Angeles Police Department detectives in 2007 and 2009. The 2009 case resulted in the conviction of Hicks, who was an employee at that residential facility.
Victim #1 said Hicks took her to an unknown place, married her and then brought her back to the care facility, where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Lloyd, and was repeatedly allegedly sexually assaulted by Hicks. Detectives don’t know if the crimes Hicks was convicted of are the ones depicted on video. Lloyd has been arrested for the sexual assault of this same victim.
“This is a rapidly evolving case,” said Sergeant Dan Scott, Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau. “There is so much videotaped evidence, so many victims, so many suspects, and so many quality leads that keep pouring in. The amount of detailed investigative work required to be done on every aspect of this case is very much a challenge. This case is as extraordinary as it is tragic and deeply disturbing.”
More than 70 quality leads have been given to investigators from the public and other policing agencies. While many tips pertain to assisted living facilities within the County of Los Angeles, tips have come in about locations in other parts of the state and nation, and are being coordinated with the investigators from many different agencies.
“While suspects #1 and #4 have been identified and are under investigation, we are still seeking suspects #2 and #3,” said Sergeant Dan Scott. “Please look at the photos and sketches of the suspects and contact us if you think you may recognize them.”
If you have information about this case, please contact the Special Victims Bureau at their special toll free hotline at (866) 247-5877 or your local sheriff’s station, as soon as possible.
Information can be provided anonymously, by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or by accessing the Crime Stoppers website at www.lacrimestoppers.org <http://www.lacrimestoppers.org/>