Los Angeles police have arrested a 33-year-old man who is suspected of sexual assault after luring at least one teenage girl into his car in Venice.
Los Angeles Police Department Det. Kim Porter said the teenage girl, who is under the age of 18, was standing outside of a school in the 600 block of Fifth Avenue in Venice at about 3:35 p.m. Nov. 29, when a man drove up in a silver, two-door 2002 Mercedes Benz CL 55, with paper license plates. Porter could not confirm the identity of the school but said the girl is a student there.
The driver, identified as Shota Mgeladze of Los Angeles, used a “ruse” to get the victim into his car by saying he knew her father and had something for her to give to her father, Porter said.
Once the victim sat inside the Mercedes Benz, the suspect allegedly told her she was beautiful and that he could make her a model, police said.
He then allegedly asked the girl if he could take nude photographs of her and abruptly pulled over to the curb to park the car. The suspect then allegedly reached over and grabbed the victim’s left leg, pulling her leg towards him, but she was able to get out of the car after kicking the man in the face and shoulder, police said.
Porter said the victim gave police a detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle. At about 6:45 p.m. that same day, officers located the Mercedes with paper license plates and Mgeladze standing next to the vehicle at Ocean Front Walk and Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, she said.
Police arrested Mgeladze on suspicion of kidnapping for sexual motive, Porter said.
Porter said police believe there may be other victims who have had contact with Mgeladze and they are encouraging them to come forward.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Det. Porter of the LAPD Operations-West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail at (213) 473-0447.