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Rape suspect nabbed

18-year-old was allegedly grabbed by 23-year-old in North Hollywood and forced to drive to SCV

Posted: June 16, 2009 8:55 p.m.
Updated: June 17, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Police have arrested a San Fernando Valley man on suspicion of kidnapping an 18-year-old woman in North Hollywood and forcing her to drive to Newhall, where he raped her and stole her car.

Michael Rodriguez, 23, of Sun Valley was arrested in connection with the crime earlier this month, Los Angeles Police Department officials announced this week.

Officers arrested Rodriguez at a public library in Sun Valley on June 5 after the victim spotted him on the street and called police, said LAPD Detective Gregory Stone.

Stone said the case remains under investigation and would not elaborate on any other evidence that has surfaced against Rodriguez. He said the suspect has a clean criminal record and is not affiliated with any gangs.

The crime occurred on May 3, when police said a man ran up to the teenage victim’s car, told her he was running away from gang members and begged her to take him several blocks away.

Once inside the car, he pulled out a knife and forced her to drive to Newhall. He made her stop in a strip-mall parking lot on Newhall Avenue and raped her inside her car, police said.

Prosecutors have charged Rodriguez with 10 felony counts: four of sexual penetration with a foreign object, two of forcible rape, and one each of forcible oral copulation, kidnapping, carjacking, and second-degree robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.



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