Police make arrest in Long Beach sexual assualt cases

LONG BEACH – A 19-year-old man accused of assaulting three women over several months in Long Beach pleaded not guilty yesterday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Miguel Avila, of Long Beach, has been charged with four felonies: three counts of assault with intent to commit a felony and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.

The charging document includes a special allegation that the defendant was previously convicted of sexual battery by restraint in March 2014 for which he was sentenced to state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Ashley Cernok, who is prosecuting the case, said Avila reportedly assaulted three different women over a four-month span.

On Aug. 14, Avila allegedly exposed his penis to a 43-year-old woman as she walked to her apartment. He lunged at her and then sexually assaulted her, the prosecutor said.

Three months later, on Nov. 9, a 23-year-old was walking with a friend when Avila reportedly ran toward the victim, head-butted her, and then pressed himself up against her, the prosecutor said. The victim punched the defendant, at which point he ran away.

Less than a week later, on Nov. 15, a 30-year-old woman was walking with a friend when Avila allegedly grabbed her from behind, pushed her to the ground and tried to take off her underwear. As the victim’s friend pushed the defendant off of her, he stood up and exposed his penis to the women before ultimately running away, the prosecutor added.

Authorities began an investigation into the attacks and arrested Avila on Nov. 17. He remains incarcerated on $355,000 bail.

Avila is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 1 for a prehearing conference at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Long Beach.

If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in state prison.

 

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Published: Nov. 27, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 33