Disabled Women Assault Video: 2 Men Identified In Videos Portraying Abuse Of Handicapped Women

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MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Authorities have identified two of the suspects recorded in sexual assaults of profoundly disabled women, officials said Friday.

Los Angeles police officers recognized the men after detectives went public with artist sketches and photos of four men on Thursday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott said. As many as 10 suspects could have been involved in the assaults.

One of the suspects, Bert Hicks, was a worker at a Los Angeles care facility and had already been prosecuted by police for two felony sex counts and two abuse counts. He is currently imprisoned at Tehachapi State Prison and scheduled for release in 2012, Scott said.

A call to the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilition was not immediately returned Friday.

The images were gleaned from over 100 hours of video delivered to sheriff's headquarters in suburban Monterey Park last March. It took months for investigators to digitally enhance the grainy footage and produce pictures and artist sketches of four of the suspects.

The videos show the men sexually assaulting physically and mentally disabled women, some of them in diapers.

Scott said Los Angeles detectives recognized Hicks after his picture was shown on the news. The second suspect's identity was not immediately released.

The footage was not released to the public, but authorities described seeing horrific acts. In one video, an obese man in a wheelchair is seen pushing himself into a small bedroom while wearing a diaper. His back is covered in scars and he appears to be a paraplegic resident of a care facility.

The man pulls himself onto a woman's bed, removes his own and her diaper, then assaults her, authorities said.

The videos came from an anonymous tipster who said a customer purchased a laptop on the streets of Inglewood and brought it to him to wipe the hard drive. Before doing so, he copied the videos and gave them to authorities.


Associated Press writer Thomas Watkins contributed to this report.

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