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Dangers Lurk Inside Buses

Bus accidents can be devastating. Sometimes incidents that occur on buses can be downright criminal. Whenever a sexual assault takes place on private property or on board a moving vehicle, the owners may be responsible.

Charges have been filed against a 20-year-old man accused of raping a developmentally disabled woman aboard a Metro bus last week.

LACMTA New Flyer C40LF #5447.

LACMTA New Flyer C40LF #5447. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kerry Trotter — who is on probation for a grand theft conviction from April — faces charges of forcible rape, rape of an incompetent person and sexual penetration by a foreign object, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

If convicted, Trotter faces more than 20 years in state prison.

Authorities allege that Trotter was the man who boarded the 217 Metro bus after the 18-year-old woman climbed aboard, returning from a special education class last week.

The woman, who authorities said has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, had just recently been allowed to make the trip on her own.

The man followed her to the back of the bus and raped her for 10 minutes as the bus drove south through Baldwin Hills. Several people were on the bus at the time, but some exited during the attack, perhaps unaware of what was happening.

The man stopped only as the bus reached its final destination. He then got off the bus. The victim reported the attack to the bus driver.

Part of the incident was caught on a surveillance camera, and Trotter was arrested Friday morning just hours after investigators released photos of the alleged attacker.

Records show that Trotter has a criminal history dating back to last year, when he was convicted of drug possession. In April, he was convicted of grand theft and sentenced to a year in jail, but did not serve his full sentence.

In June he was arrested again, and in September admitted violating probation. He was released from jail September 28. Redondo Beach police arrested him again on October 15 for an unknown offense, and he spent 10 days in jail.

Authorities said Trotter had been investigated on sexual assault allegations before but never charged.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a bus accident that was caused by negligence or some other form of reckless behavior, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.


Teardrop Rapist Strikes Again

The infamous Teardrop Rapist may have struck again this month when a woman in South Los Angeles was accosted by an armed man who tried to sexually assault her in an alley before he was scared off.

The 29-year-old woman was alone at about 5:30 a.m. on June 15 when she was approached by a man near 25thStreet and Naomi Avenue.

English: Sureños gang member's tattoos.

English: Sureños gang member’s tattoos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The assailant tried to talk with her and then put a gun in her face. He forced her into an alley where he attempted to sexually assault her. The man ran off when a vehicle pulled into the alley. The attack resembled those of the Teardrop Rapist.

The Teardrop Rapist is believed to be responsible for as many as 35 attacks since 1996. In the last decade and a half, the serial rapist has been linked through DNA samples and other collected evidence.

His last attack occurred in November when he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in the southwest Los Angeles area. The incident also occurred in the early morning hours.

The Los Angeles Police Department released several sketches of the suspect drawn over the years and noted that there are unexplained gaps in the attacks.

When Los Angeles police asked the public for help in identifying the suspect during a news conference in 2003, the Teardrop Rapist didn’t strike again for three years. After a 2006 attack in the Century City area, another six years passed before he struck again on November 10 of last year.

In the 2003 incident, the Teardrop Rapist attacked a 15-year-old girl who was walking in the area of Gage and Hoover avenues. He asked her for directions and then pulled out a gun. He took her to an alley and tried to sexually assault her before running away.

The Teardrop Rapist is described as Latino (Whatever that means!) with brown hair and brown eyes. He is not very tall and stands between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 6 inches. He weighs between 130 and 170 pounds. He has a teardrop tattoo below one of his eyes.

If you or a loved one was attacked, the owner of the property where the crime took place may be legally responsible for your injuries. It is important that you contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if you can file a lawsuit to collect damages. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.


Former Cop Fell Apart After Taking Zoloft

An Iraq War veteran and former Westminster police detective convicted of kidnapping and raping a waitress in Fontana took the witness stand for the first time on Tuesday in an effort to persuade a jury that he was insane at the time of the attack because he was taking Zoloft.

Anthony Orban told the juror in the San Bernardino County courthouse that he was “falling apart” in the months preceding the attack. His home was foreclosed and his marriage was on the rocks. Orban was so depressed, he turned to alcohol to numb the pain.

English: frhde hdres

English: frhde hdres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of his testimony on Tuesday was about the stress he faced as a Marine and as a police officer. On Wednesday, he discussed the kidnapping and rape, and told jurors that he simply couldn’t imagine doing this to anybody.

Dr. Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist who is a critic of psychotropic medications, was one of the main witnesses for the defense. He said that Orban believed he was possessed by demons and contemplated killing himself, his wife and their dog. He also said that a cadaver had a conversation with Orban.

Breggin told jurors that Orban stopped taking Zoloft and then resumed it at full dose five days before the attack, provoking a psychotic break in which he was delirious and not fully aware of his actions.

Last week, the same jury found Orban guilty of kidnapping and multiple counts of rape and sexual assault, rejecting the defense claims that Zoloft made him do it.

During the sanity phase of the trial, the defense has the burden to prove that Orban lacked the ability to distinguish right from wrong.

If the jury finds him not guilty by reason of insanity, Orban would be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment where he could eventually be released. If he is determined to be sane, Orban could face a life sentence in prison.

The victim, who was 25 at the time and working as a waitress at Ontario Mills, testified that Orban kidnapped her as she walked to her car in the parking lot and then forced her to drive to a self-storage lot in Fontana where he raped her. The woman escaped when Orban was distracted by an incoming call on his mobile phone. Police later found Orban’s service weapon – with his name on it – in the victim’s car.

Even if Orban couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong because he was taking Zoloft, he is still responsible for his actions. People who take psychiatric medication can exhibit unusual behavior, but it is unlikely that these drugs led to Orban’s decision to rape his victim. These drugs, however, have been known to cause serious birth defects. If you or someone you love was taking Zoloft or any other psychiatric medication while pregnant and the child was born with a birth defect, you should request the services of a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case. A professionally trained injury lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.